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, Bjessed Joan of Arc-
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tine Cornell University Library.
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http://www.archive.org/details/cu31 9240281 61 002
Blesseb Joan of Etc
Complete ^torp of Ijec ^onber:;
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CHRISTIAN PRESS ASSOCIATION
BBsnoius Lafobt, 8.T.L.
* John M. Fablet, D.D.
AreltMshop of New York.
Jan. 24, 1910.
SI £. A. POBD, 1910.
TO HIS GRACE
MOST REVEREND JOHN IRELAND.
ARCHBISHOP OF ST. PAUL,
WHOSE VOICE AND PEN WERE EARLY ENLISTED
IN THE CAUSE OF JOAN OF ARC,
THIS LITTLE WORK
IS APFECIIONATBLY DEDICATED.
For the narrative of this story the writer had
much from which to cull. The books written
about Joan of Arc make a respectable library in
themselves. Few lives of great persons are so
well authenticated by sworn testimony still pre-
served intact, and easily available. We have
every detail of her strange career on oath. The
questions and answers of the Examinations, and
of the public Trials, and the documents herein
quoted, are taken from T. Douglass Murray's
English translation of the original documents
in the archives of Paris. The only originality
claimed for this " Story " is its brevity and con-
nectedness, necessarily it is not much more than
an outline. "We have tried to give it the proper
religious and patriotic atmosphere, for Joan of
Arc was a saint and a patriot of the purest type.
E. A. F.
POPE PIUS X TO THE FRENCH BISHOP.
Called by the Lord to defend her country,
she answers her vocation for an undertaking
which everybody and she herself deemed im-
possible; but what is impossible for men is
always possible with the help of God. Let us
not exaggerate, then, the diflBculties of doing
what faith commands us to do, what duty en-
tails upon us, or the exercise of the fruitful
apostolate of example, which the Lord expects
from every one of us. Difficulties come from
those who create and exaggerate them, from
those who trust in themselves without the help
of Heaven, from those who yield in cowardly
fear to the sneers and derision of the world.
Hence it is that in our day, more than ever
before, the chief strength of the wicked lies in
the cowardice and the weakness of the good,
and all the force of the kingdom of Satan,
comes from the apathy of Christians. — Pope
Pius X to the French tishops and pilgrims on
the occasion of the Beatification of Joan of
I. "I was thirteen when I heard a voice from
God telling me to go and save France. ". . . 9
II. Joan starts on her mission — "For this was
I born — to drive the English out of
III. Her miraculous march to the King — He gives
her command of the armies of France. . . 35
IV. She reorganizes the French army and warns
the English to leave France !i2
V. " Strike boldly ! God will give the victory!
On to Orleans ! " 65
VI. "The stroke of God " — Beginning of the end
of the hundred years of English oc-
VII. The march to Rheims — Joan and the King
ride in triumph to the Coronation 98
VIII. "Now let me go back to my poor old mother
who has need of me." The King de-
tains Joan as head of his army 115
IX. France is free — Joan a prisoner of the Eng-
lish King 133
X. The lamb in the midst of the wolves. The
mock trial 151
XI. " In spinning and sewing I do not fear any
woman in Rouen." 164
XII. " If I be not in the state of grace I pray God
place me in it ITS
XIII. "I will tell willingly whatever I have per-
mission from God to reveal." 190
XIV. She tells her English Judges they will lose
France forever , 203
XV. " Let me be taken before the Pope and I will
answer all I ought toanswer.". 215
XVI. "I would rather die than be in the hands of
the English." 233
XVII. Joan keeps the King's secret — defends her
male attire — and refuses to acknowledge
the authority of her judges 245
XVIII. Joan is cheated into a show of recanting. . . . 261
XIX. The cruel death scene — The illegal trial ends
in illegal execution 276
XX. The official rehabilitation of Joan's character
after her death 286
XXI. The Beatification of Joan of Arc by Pius X
— ' ' Joan of Arc shall be France's Saint. ". 306
BLESSED JOAN OF ARC.
"I was thirteen wten I heard a voice from God telling
me to go and save France."
" But the foolish things of the world hath
God chosen, that He may confound the wise;
and the weak things of the world hath God
chosen, that He may confound the strong."
" And the base things of the world, and the
things that are contemptible, hath God chosen,
and things that are not, that He might bring
to nought things that are." (1 Cor. i-v. 27-28.)
It is in the light of this lesson from St. Paul
in his first Epistle to the Corinthians, that we
must read the wonderful story of Joan of
Arc if we would properly understand it and
get the full value of it as a human document,
as well as a flashing page in national annals,
and now a precious addition to the treasury of
" The work wrought by Joan of Arc," said
10 BLESSED JOAN OF ARC.
the non-Catholic Mark Twain, in his " Personal
Recollections of Joan of Arc," " may fairly be
regarded as ranking any recorded in history,
when one considers the conditions under which
it was undertaken, the obstacles in the way,
and the means at her disposal. Caesar carried
conquest far, but he did it with the trained
and confident veterans of Rome, and was a
trained soldier himself; Napoleon swept away
the disciplined armies of Europe, but he also
was a trained soldier, and he began his work
with patriot battalions inflamed and inspired
by the miracle working new breath of Liberty
breathed upon them by the Revolution — eager
young apprentices to the splendid trade of war.
But, Joan of Arc, a mere child in years, inno-
cent, unlettered, a poor village girl unknown
and without influence, found a great nation ly-
ing in chains, helpless and hopeless under alien
domination, its treasury bankrupt, its soldiers
disheartened and dispersed, all spirit torpid,
all courage dead in the hearts of the people
through long years of foreign and domestic
outrage and oppression, its king cowed, re-
signed to his fate, and preparing to fly the
country; and she laid her hand upon this na-
tion, this corpse, and it rose and followed her.
She led it from victory to victory, she turned
back the tide of the Hundred Years' War, she
BLESSED JOAN OP ARC. H
fatally crippled the English power, and died
with the earned title of Deliverer of Prance,
which she bears to this day."
It is a wonderful story but " he that glorieth
in it must glory in the Lord " who chose the
weak girl to drive the English out of France,
and the ignorant girl to confound the wise
churchmen and statesmen, that, failing to see
God's hand in her career persecuted her and
put her to death.
" Ah, France had fallen low, so low ! " says
Mark Twain. " For more than three-quarters
of a century the English fangs had been bedded
in her flesh, and so cowed had her armies be-
come by ceaseless rout and defeat that it was
said and accepted that the mere sight of an
English army was sufficient to put a French
one to flight. * * * Famine, pestilence, slaugh-
ter, ice, snow — Paris had all these at once.
The dead lay in heaps about the streets, and
wolves entered the city in daylight and de-
At the same time, far off in the little village
of Domremy, on the Belgian border of France,
a young girl, poor, innocent, ignorant, was
chosen by Almighty God to undo all that hor-
ror, to restore the French people, to their king
and the king to the people, to drive out the
English invader and " deal the English a blow
12 BLESSED JOAN OP ARC.
from which they would not recover in a thou-
This was Jeanne d'Arc, or, as we say in
English, Joan of Arc.
Joan of Arc was born in the pleasant village
of Domremy on the Belgian border of France,
on " Little Christmas " Day, January 6, in
1412. Her parents were humble, honest, work-
ing people, and her three brothers and little
sister, as well as herself, were taught to love
God, to obey the Church, to love their country,
and to work diligently and contentedly, and
live in peace and justice with their neighbors.
In the years that followed Joan's great
achievement, it became necessary to take the
testimony of her childhood friends and neigh-
bors as to her previous character, and this
testimony was sworn to, duly recorded and
remains to this day. All the accounts of her
agree that she was a good, gentle, obedient
child; cheerful and industrious in her home,
gay with the gay in the village sports; ever
compassionate and helpful to the sick and the
An honest laborer, who came to speak for
Joan at her second trial long years afterwards,
gave this simple tribute : " I was then a child
and it was she who nursed me in my illness."
" I was thirteen when I first heard a voice."
BLESSED JOAN OF ARC. 15
" I was one of the godfathers of Jeanne.
She was so good that all the village of Dom-
remy loved her. She had modest ways, as
beseemed one whose parents were not rich.
She followed the usual duties of women, such
as spinning and she sometimes followed the
plow if needed. If she were in the fields and
heard the Mass bell she would go back to the
village and to church and hear Mass."
All through her childhood and up to the
middle of her fourteenth year Joan had been
the merriest and most light-hearted creature
in the village of Domremy. Sometimes the
news of the wars reached the village and so-
bered her spirits as it did her elders, but Dom-
remy was remote from the actual scenes, and
the horrors of the English occupation were not
brought home to her so vividly. But a change
came. According to her own testimony:
" I was thirteen when I first heard a Voice
coming from God to help me to live well. I
was frightened. It came at midday in my
father's garden in the summer. * » * it was
a noble voice, and I thought it was sent to me
from God. The third time I heard it I recog-
nized it as being an angel's."
The Voice came many times afterwards and
16 BLESSED JOAN OF ARC.
with it the vision of St. Michael the Arch-
angel, the warrior angel, and he told her the
sad story of her suffering country and that it
was God's will that she be the one to deliver it.
God had chosen a small thing of the world to
confound the great
" You must go to the help of the King of
France; it is you who shall give him back his
Strange message from the Prince of the
soldiers of Heaven to a trembling, unlettered
little girl !
Like the Mother of God, when the angel
Gabriel came to her to tell her she was to bear
the Son of God in her womb, Joan was troubled
and wondered, "How can this be?"
She knew nothing of arms or soldiers or even
how to ride a horse or handle a sword. And
he but repeated to her again and again, " You
must go into France." He promised her that
St. Catherine and St. Margaret would come
to her and tell her what to do. And they came.
She saw and heard them again and again; in
soft halos of light, and sweet, loving tones,
these two martyr saints came to prepare their
little sister martyr. To encourage and
strengthen her for the great work she had to
do. Most of all to fill her with a great love of
BLESSED JOAN OF ARC. 17
God's will, a great love for her suffering coun-
try, and a great confidence in her sublime
mission, without any care for what might
happen to herself.
In her descriptions on oath of the appear-
ances and impressions of these visions and
voices one gets the idea of their frequency:
" The "Voice said to me two or three times a
week, ' You must go into Prance.' "
One is struck with their gentleness to her,
and their beautiful appearance, though vague,
and that they were rather voices than visions.
Joan always spoke of them as " My Voices."
She was but thirteen when these revelations
began. She was seventeen when at last she
left her father's house and started on her
mission. During those four years there is no
record that there was any change in her regu-
lar domestic life at home, and intercourse with
her neighbors, beyond a growing seriousness
that her grovring years demanded. This was
augmented, no doubt, by the growing serious-
ness of the national affairs, for even far off
Domremy felt the scourge of the presence of
English soldiers ; and " the great pity there is
in the kingdom of France" was everybody's
But neither to her parents, nor to the good
18 BLESSED JOAN OF ARC.
priest of the parish, nor to any of her comrades
or neighbors could Joan tell the story of her
call to so wonderful a task.
Nothing presented as a favoring circum-
stance to carry out the commands of her Voices.
The days passed into weeks, the weeks into
months, and no definite way to carry out the
will of God with regard to the rescue of France
from the ever further advancing English came.
The humble handmaid of God was ready if
only the way were pointed out. At last the
voices grew more urgent :
" You must go into France."
" Go raise the seige which is being made be-
fore the city of Orleans."
" Go to Robert de Baudricourt, Governor of
Vaucouleurs, he will furnish you with an es-
cort to accompany you to the King."
And the opportunity came to the willing in-
strument. Joan's uncle Laxart, came to
Domremy on a visit and to him she told her
secret. She persuaded him to take her to his
home for a visit in return.
From there she persuaded him to take her
to Vaucouleurs to the Governor. She wanted
only his escort, for decency sake; she would
do the rest herself.
This was on Ascension Day, May 13, 1428.
Joan was sixteen years of age.
BLESSED JOAN OF ARC. 19
" I am so young to leave my mother and my
home, and go into the strange world to under-
take a thing so great. How can I talk with
men — be comrade with men — soldiers? It
would give me over to insult and rude usage
and contempt. How can I go to the great wars,
and bad armies? I, a girl, and ignorant of
such things, knowing nothing of arms, nor how
to mount a horse nor ride it. Yet — if it is
commanded " — was Joan's final protest to the
urgent voices of her saints.
Joan starts on her mission — " For this was I born — to drive
the English out of France."
With the increased urgency of her Voices
came also what seemed the first opportunity to
act. Her uncle Durand Laxart came on a
visit to Domremy from his home near Vaucou-
leurs. To him she opened her heart. She told
him of the miraculous mission entrusted to her.
How she was to fulfill it she did not know.
Only that God would be with her and guide
and guard her until its consummation. She
won over the good-hearted old man who knew
her for a pious, obedient, industrious child.
Of armies or sieges or crowning of kings he
knew nothing; but he believed in Joan and
promised to help her in every way she asked,
without doubts or questions. This brave, sim-
ple, old man was heaven's next instrument in
the saving of France and Europe and the Chair
of St. Peter, from English domination. For to
the writer it has always seemed as if this last
was the real cause of Heaven's interference in
the military schemes of a people whose national
policy seemed mainly foreign conquest; and
BLESSED JOAN OF ARC. 21
whose success in Fraace would make the sub-
jugation of Italy comparatively easy.
Joan induced her uncle to take her back with
him on a visit to his home in Burey right near
Vaucouleurs. Under cover of this visit to her
uncle she was to leave Domreny without at-
tracting any attention. On the way she ex-
plained to old Laxart :
" For this was I born — to drive the English
out of France."
" I must go to Robert de Baudricourt, the
Governor of Vaucouleurs and demand of him
an escort of men at arms, and a letter to the
king. A year from now a blow will be struck
which will be the beginning of the end, and
the end will follow swiftly."
Joan and her uncle presented themselves at
the house of the Governor of Vaucouleurs.
Around the Governor at the time were many
members of his garrison and oflSteial staff, dis-
cussing the latest news from the interior, which
was as usual without any streak of lightning
about French victories. It was a monoto-
nous record of the steady advance of the Eng-
lish army, swallowing one town after another
in their onward march, leaving in each new
conquest some of their army for garrison and
gome of their standards for sign of their occu-
22 BLESSED JOAN OP ARC.
pation. The capture'of their own Vaucouleurs,
too, seemed inevitable.
It was not a very cheerful company around
the Governor who heard the announcement
that a young girl was outside begging audience
with him, who would not tell her business but
to him. " Bring her in," said Baudricourt.
At sight of the room full of bravely costumed
men uncle Laxart became embarrassed, fum-
bled with his cap and forgot what he wanted to
say. But the inspired girl in her homespun red
dress, rough shoes and white coif, came for-
ward looking at no one but the Governor, whom
she recognized at once, and said:
" My message is to you, Robert de Baudri-
court, Governor of Vaucouleurs, and it is this :
that you will send and tell the Dauphin to
wait and not give battle to his enemies yet,
for God will presently send him help."
All eyes were riveted on the speaker of such
a strange message, and for a moment there was
silence. The Governor scowled : " What non-
sense is this? The King — or the Dauphin as
you call him — ^needs no message of that sort.
He will wait indeed. He has no thought of
fight. What further have you to say to me?"
" This : to beg of you to give me an escort
of men-at-arms and send me to the Dauphin."
BLE:SSED JOAN OF ARC. 23
" That he may make me his General ; for it is
appointed that I shall drive the English out of
France, and set the crown upon his head."
"What! You? You are but a child."
" Nevertheless, I am appointed to do this
" Indeed ! And when is all this to happen ? "
" Next year he will be crowned, and after
that will remain master of France."
" Who sent you with these extravagant
messages ? "
" My Lord, the King of Heaven."
The seriousness and sadness of the Gover-
nor's company had changed to merriment at
Joan's first words, but now they changed again
to pity for the " poor demented thing," and
Baudicourt said to Laxart:
" Take this mad child home and whip her
soundly. That is the best cure for her ail-
Poor Joan ! What could she do but turn and
go. But ere she went she raised her eyes to the
Governor's and said sweetly:
" It is my Lord that has commanded. There-
fore must I come again and yet again. Then I
shall have the men-at-arms."
The Governor said nothing to this, and
uncle Laxart led her away.
Joan, disappointed but not discouraged,
24 BLESSED JOAN OP ARC.
went back to Domremy to wait further what
God's will had in store for her. Now her story
was out she made no further reserve, but calmly
and firmly reiterated when asked, that she had
a commission from God to help the King and
France, and that God in His own good time
would help his willing handmaid to accomplish
the task she never sought and would fain es-
cape now if God so willed.
A hard summer and fall and winter followed
for Joan. Her father's displeasure at the un-
natural future his daughter was seeking, her
mother's patient sympathy which however had
no understanding in it of her mission, would
have been hard to bear if her Voices had not
Her brothers and former companions could
DO longer share with her their sports or gay
Her eyes seemed to look over and beyond
them ever, as if her wonderful call was always
in her ears. But she was gentle and patient
with everybody. Even when an ardent youth
with her hopeful parents' glad consent, sought
to take her out of all diflSculties by asking her
to be his wife, her refusal was kind. So kind
that he and her parents thought if they got
the Bishop to command her she would never
dare hesitate; and once married all would end
BLESSED JOAN OF ARC. 25
well. Joan was cited before the Bishop; but
her simple directness saved her; with her eyes
on the horizon beyond which was her un-
crowned king, she gave such sweetly courage-
ous denial to the Bishop that she had ever
been engaged to this man, the Bishop let her
go and put no command on her whose path
was so plainly marked out by heaven already.
From May, 1428, until the 5th of January,
1429, Joan spent in trying to reconcile her
parents and friends to her fate and waiting
for definite call to action. At last she sought
her uncle Laxart again.
" I must go into France. The time is come.
My Voices are not vague now, but clear, and
they have told me what I must do. In two
months I shall be with the Dauphin."
Once more and for the last time (and she
knew it) she left her childhood's home. She
was seventeen now, and though of the poor
and dressed like them in her rough red dress,
she had an exalted look on her face and a
dignity in her carriage, that Baudricourt
marked well when she again presented herself
to him, begging him to send her with a proper
escort to the Dauphin that she might free
" I must still come to you until you send me
to the king for so it is commanded me. I dare
26 BLESSED JOAN OF ARC.
not disobey. I must go to the Dauphin though
I go on my knees."
But Baudricourt sent her away with no
promise of ever granting her request.
In Baudricourt's council was a noble cava-
lier, Sieur Jean de Metz, a true soldier, as it
proved later, who was a silent spectator at
both meetings of Joan with the Governor. He
was struck with the tranquillity of Joan's
courage. Her face and voice and whole atti-
tude appealed to him, and he was inspired to
take up her cause. Joan's earnestness was
The Sieur de Metz was touched with sym-
pathy to see the little maid's disappointment
after Baudricourt's second refusal to help her.
He followed her and questioned her.
" Is it necessary that you go to the king
soon? That is I mean — "
" Before Mid-Lent even though I wear my
legs to the knees," replied Joan, and the reflec-
tion of the glory of St. Michael the Archangel
was on her face and in her clear eyes as she
turned them on him.
For a silent moment he gazed down into that
face and caught somewhat of its holy earnest-
ness. At length he said :
" God knows I think you should have the
men-at-arms, and that something would come
BLESSED JOAN OF ARC. 27
of it. What is it that you would do? What
is your hope and purpose?"
" To rescue France," she said. " And it is
appointed that I shall do it. For no one else
in the world, neither kings, nor dukes, nor the
daughter of the King of Scotland, nor any
other can recover the kingdom of France, and
there is no help but in me."
(The daughter of the King of Scotland was
to marry the son of the Dauphin and so ally
the two countries.)
And seeing the infinite pity in the eyes of the
nobleman she dropped her own and added
" But indeed I would rather spin with my
poor mother; for this is not my calling; but I
must go and do it, for it is my Lord's will."
"Who is your Lord?"
" He is God."
" When do you wish to start? "
" Sooner at once than to-morrow. Sooner
to-morrow than later."
Then the Sieur de Metz, Inspired no doubt
by the kind Heaven that led Joan, knelt, and
made oath to Joan that by God's help he would
himself, if no other, lead her to the King. He
brought his friend and comrade knight, Sieur
Bertrand de Poulengy, to her also and together
they pledged themselves her knights hencefor-
28 BLESSED JOAN OF ARC.
ward, to lead her to the King and to follow her
But these two strong allies were not the
Governor and it was the Governor of Vaucou-
leurs, her Voices said, should send her to the
king. It was Ascension Day, 1428, when Joan
went first to Baudricourt. Ten months were
wasted in trying to win his favorable attention.
Joan induced her uncle to take lodgings with
her near the Governor's house, for she knew
she must see him again and soon. Meantime
her story got abroad. There had been not one
syllable of good news for so long in any part
of France that the word that a maiden had
come with a commission from Heaven to help
Orleans and the King, was like a beautiful
shower after a long, long drought. Everybody
seized it eagerly and passed it along. They
may not have placed any faith in it, but it was
a word of hope and sounded so good to a
The whole population of that part of France
talked of nothing but the angel woman sent
by God to crown the King and drive out the
With the people the crowning of the king
was a most necessary preliminary. They re-
fused to acknowledge the King of England who
had been proclaimed in Paris six years before.
BLESSED JOAN OF ARC. 29
But the Dauphin of France was not king till
the sacred oil be poured upon his head at
Rheims. Meanwhile they had no head and
Joan's promise to crown the king at Rheims
had great significance for them. Then, too,
some one revived the old prophesy that said
France would be lost by a harlot, and regained
by a maid.
It was now on every tongue. Did not the
frivolous Queen of Charles VI sign away the
right of her son, the Dauphin, to the succession,
acknowledging the King of England to be King
of France, thus opening the gates full to the
English. And here now was a maid come say-
ing she was sent to crown the Dauphin and
drive out the English.
Meantime the siege of Orleans was in prog-
ress. " The Moscow Campaign of the English
in France," as Andrew Lang aptly calls it.
In his excellent work on " The Maid of France,"
he details from English official accounts, the
gigantic English preparations for the complete
subjugation of France. The English Treasury
was emptied to purchase great stores of arms
and ammunition, and the latest and best ap-
pliances of military science.
The men to fight were drafted for six months,
which was considered ample time now to finish
30 BLESSED JOAN OF ARC.
the war that had lasted for nearly a hundred
Orleans was the last real stronghold of the
French. It was a brave town within a square
mile of walls of great height and thickness,
with a coronal of towers, and its river front
protected by a fort and bridge.
It was well garrisoned and well provided
with food and guns, when the siege began on
October 12, 1428.
Around the town the English had built forts
or bastiles connected with each other, impos-
ing in appearance. There were fully a dozen
of these commanding all approaches to the city.
Between all of these in turn and the besieged
city a series of skirmishes was kept up all
through the months of October and November,
1428, while Joan was at Vaucouleurs trying
to be patient; her heavenly voices urging her
on and the ofiScials of beleaguered France bar-
ring her progress.
On December 1, 1428, the great Talbot ar-
rived from England to take the place of Salis-
bury who had been mortally wounded in one
of the skirmishes. Talbot brought fresh sup-
plies of men and guns and ammunition and
before one or other of the half-dozen gates of
the city more or less fighting took place every
BLESSED JOAN OF ARC. 3I
Only on Christmas Day there was a truce.
Some of these skirmishes were serious enough
on both sides to be called battles. Two armies
could hardly live seven months within such
close range without some bloodshed. But there
was no real sustained fighting. The French
were afraid and the English, sure of them-
selves, were in no hurry. The Dauphin was
expecting help from Scotland, France's old
ally. France and Scotland had in turn saved
each other's independence before from England.
On January 3, 1429, the town council of Tour-
nai heard from the Dauphin, who was at
Chinon, that an army was coming from Scot-
land which would arrive early in May.
The infant daughter of King James I of
Scotland, betrothed to the infant son of the
Dauphin, was coming with a splendid army to
the succor of her future home.
The English heard the news, too, and pre-
pared to attack the Scottish transports.
On February 14, 1429, Joan went once more
to the castle at Vaucouleurs and presented her-
self to the Governor. A few days previously
he had come to her at her lodgings bringing
with him a priest who in surplice and stole
read from the Divine OfQce for the exorcism
of the evil spirit — while the Governor watched
eagerly for any sign of witch or devil.
32 BLESSED JOAN OP ARC.
Joan answered the priest's questions and
submitted to his tests with perfect calmness
and good temper. She was more sorry for the
wrong he did himself than for the insult put
on her. He pronounced her safe and sane, how-
ever, very much to the Governor's trouble of
mind, who would like to be excused from
further thought of her.
About this time the defenders of Orleans
got word of a huge convoy of food and am-
munition to the English. A French army of
4,000 fighting men mostly mounted left Orleans
to intercept and capture the convoy. Their
own food was becoming scarce. The English
convoy numbered but 1,500, including the com-
missariat, to guard the wagons loaded with
guns and barrels of salt herrings, for it was
But the 1,500 English and their allies drove
the French back to Orleans and drove their
herrings safely to their own camp.
So discouraged were the French by this one
defeat, the " Battle of the Herrings," as it is
known in history, that two thousand of those
defeated Orleanists, with Charles de Bourbon
(who commanded at Orleans) at their head
and the bishop of Orleans (who, by the way,
was a Scotchman, Andrew Lang says) left
Orleans as already a doomed town and went
3LBSSBD JOAN OF ARC. 33
further south to where the Dauphin was
The 14th of February Joan presented herself
once more to the Governor.
" In God's name," she said vehemently, " you
are too slow about sending me and have caused
damage thereby, for this day the Dauphin's
cause has lost a battle near Orleans."
The Governor looked earnestly at her for a
"To-day? How can you know what has
happened in that region to-day? It would
take eight or ten days for word to come from
" I tell you a serious battle was lost to-day
and it is your fault to delay me so."
A ray of light struck the puzzled old soldier.
He swore a great oath that if it proved true, as
she said, that a battle that day was fought and
lost, she should have a letter and an escort to
the king. Then answered Joan :
" Now God be thanked these waiting days are
almost done. In nine days you will fetch me
And Joan made her preparations accord-
ingly. Her weary waiting was at last over.
To her trusted knights, Jean de Metz and
Bertrand de Poulengy, she gave orders to be
ready for one hour before midnight of the 23d.
34 BLESSED JOAN OF AHC.
They would march secretly out of Vaucouleurs
and through the country to Ghinon where the
At ten, the night of the 23d, the Governor
came. He had received news of the Battle of
the Herrings. He delivered over to Joan a
mounted escort of soldiers. He gave her also
horses for her brothers and her two knights
and a letter to the king. Then he took off his
own sword and belted it around her waist.
" You said true, child. The battle was lost
on that day. So I have kept my word. Now
go ! Come of it what may ! "
Her miraculous march to the King — He gives her command
of the armies of France.
Great was the joy of Joan to hear Baudri-
court's words. " Go then in God's name — let
come of it what may." The grave patience of
her countenance during the weary ten months
of waiting and pleading to be sent on her
mission, now gave place to a look of exultation
that reflected itself on the faces of her escort
— the " men-at-arms " — that she had at last
obtained from the Governor.
God's ways are not man's ways. Else the
Almighty power that chose so weak an instru-
ment for so seemingly impossible a work
would have somewhat smoothed the way for
her at the start. But those weary months of
waiting tested and strengthened her patience
and her confidence, and, by so much, prepared
her for further and heavier trials. That
Baudricourt, bluff, rough, skeptical old soldier,
should believe in her and send her on her way,
was in itself a miracle most encouraging. And
he made every one of the twenty men-at-arms
36 BLESSED JOAN OP ARC.
swear to conduct her safely and well to the
Joan's task was well begun now, as she
started out of the " Gate of France " of the
walled town of Vaucouleurs at the head of her
Between her and the Dauphin at Chinon lay
the width of France. Over four hundred miles
of English-infested land and fully a score of
streams to cross. No convoy of supplies for
food or shelter accompanied or met them. No
guarantee of any kind for safety went with
them, except the word of God in the heart of a
maiden, and her courage reflected in the faces
and hearts of her comrades.
Looking back through history at that march
with all its circumstances, we see in it again
'the pillar of fire by night and the cloud by day,
that led the Israelites of old.
Jean de Metz, testifying to this journey on
oath years afterwards, swore :
" We traveled for the most part at night for
fear of the Burgundians and the English, who
were masters of the roads. We journeyed
eleven days always riding (westward), towards
the said town of Chinon where the Dauphin
was. On the way I asked her many times if she
would really do all she said. ' Have no fear,'
she answered me, ' what I am commanded to
BLBSSKD JOAN OF ARC. 37
do I will do; my brothers in Paradise have
told me how to act; it is four or five years
since my brothers in Paradise, and my Lord —
that is, God — ^^told me that I must go and fight
in order to regain the kingdom of France.' On
the way Bertrand and I slept every night by
her — Jeanne being at my side fully dressed.
She inspired me with such respect that for
nothing in the world would I have dared to
molest her; also never did I feel towards her —
I say it on oath — any carnal desire. On the
way she always wished to hear Mass. She
said to us : ' If we can we shall do well to hear
Mass.' But for fear of being recognized we
were able only to hear it twice. I had abso-
lute faith in her. Her words and her ardent
faith in God inflamed me."
Bertrand de Poulengy testified:
" I felt myself inspired by her words, for I
saw she was indeed a messenger of God ; never
did I see in her any evil, but always she was
as good as if she had been a saint. We took
our road thus and without many obstacles
gained Chinon, where the king, the Dauphin,
was then staying."
The first place of any interest recorded in
their journey was the little town of St. Cather-
ine de Fierbois, about a half day's journey by
horse, from Chinon. Here in a famous chapel
38 BLESSED JOAN OF ARC.
dedicated to the St. Catherine of her visions
and voices, they arrived on Sunday, March 6,
Three Masses after one another they stopped
to hear. Then the Maid sent her two faithful
friends, Sieur Bertrand and Jean de Metz,
ahead of her to Chinon with Baudricourt's
letter to the Dauphin and a letter of her own,
which she dictated to Jean de Metz. In it she
told the Dauphin that she had come a hundred
and fifty leagues to bring him good news, and
begged the privilege of delivering it in person.
She added that though she had never seen him
she would recognize him in any disguise.
After resting a few hours her li ttle cavalcade
started again for Chinon and arriving in the
evening took lodgings in an inn — awaiting the
Just as Joan rode into Chinon there came
there also two knightly messengers from be-
leaguered Orleans, appealing to the king for
immediate help or the city must fall.
There was a good man and a capable soldier
at the time in command of Orleans. He was
Jean, a natural son of the Duke of Orleans,
and is well known in French and English his-
tory as " The Bastard of Orleans." That was
his popular title at the time, though when
peace returned to France ten years later he was
BLESSED JOAN OF ARC. 39
created Count de Dunois. We shall call him
Dunois for we shall meet him often in this
story, and learn to love him for his splendid
courage and good sense.
He was the king's Lieutenant-General of the
wars. He was in despair of Orleans when the
news reached him that a maid was advancing
from Lorraine to the rescue of Orleans and the
king. That she had just passed Orleans on
her way to Chinon. That she promised no less
than the raising of the siege of Orleans, the
crowning of the King at Eheims, the reunion
of Burgundy with the king, and the final ex-
pulsion of the English from France.
The besieged Orleanists drank in new life
and hope with the news. Dunois sent trusted
messengers to Chinon to learn the truth.
These soon returned to Orleans and reported
to Dunois that they had seen the maid; they
had talked with her men ; that she came to beg
men and arms and authority from the Dauphin
to raise the siege of Orleans. She had not
asked for a great army — had not specified for
any number of men — if only the king would
give her soldiers and authority — saying:
" When God fights it is but small matter
whether the hand that holds the sword is big
But the King had at first as little mind to
40 BLESSED JOAN OF ARC.
heed her as Baudricourt had before him. He
was too bothered and bewildered — too over-
whelmed with disasters, to sense the amazing
offer of help so near and so boldly held out.
He sent councillors to Joan to find out her
business with him and act for him in the
matter. But Joan gently refused to treat with
them. Her business was with the Dauphin and
she keenly suspected that her business would
never get to him through these councillors.
" Be patient, the Dauphin will hear me pres-
ently. Have no fear," she would say to those
who expressed anger at the delays put upon
God raised for her a friend at Court in the
person of Yolande, queen of Sicily, mother of
the Dauphin's wife, a sensible, pious woman,
who prevailed upon the king not to turn his
back on any promise of help in his straitened
condition without investigating it. She caused
Joan to be brought to the Castle of Chinon and
lodged near herself. Here for two days the
humble girl from Domremy met the chivalry
of France, talked with everybody but the one
with whom she longed to have speech. The
elegance of the court life, the gay attire, the
stately ceremonies, and fine speeches, had no
attraction for her. The echo in her heart of
Gods pity for France made her sad but the
BLESSED JOAN OF ARC. 41
knowledge that it must end happily kept her
After two days word came that the Dauphin
would see her. He sent a great lord of the
court, Count de Vendome, to escort her to the
throne room. As she followed her guide in
through the great door at one end of the long
hall she took in at a glance the three hundred
and more splendidly dressed courtiers and
soldiers that lined both sides, leaving a wide
free space down the middle. At the farther
end opposite the entrance was the canopied
throne and on its comely occupant the brave
girl fixed her gaze as she advanced with the
simple dignity of the true woman, untrained,
unspoiled, unconscious of herself, and of every-
thing around not directly concerned with her
All eyes were fixed upon the maid. And in-
deed according to all accounts Joan was good
to look at.
No Amazon, no weakling, but a fair good
figure, graceful enough to cause no comment
in any crowd. From long and frequent con-
verse with her heavenly visitants it is no won-
der her countenance was beautiful, but now
when joy and hope ran unwonted riot in her
heart, her face was radiant beyond telling.
Yet awe of her great task doubtless was in it,
'42 BLESSED JOAN OF ARC.
Joan of Arc never sat for a picture, but she
has been a favorite with painters and we are
at no loss to imagine how she must have looked
at this audience with the favored-of-Heaven
Orleans still shows in its Treasury the dress
worn by Joan of Arc at this first interview
with the king. A simple white dress of fine
material and make — procured for her so the
history attached says, by Yolande.
She herself never mentions it in any of her
depositions. The great soul of the woman was
too full of the fate of the nation to note trifles.
Neither should we. Sufficient to know that
some reflection of heaven was in her face and
the glory of it was the courage of her friends
and the confusion of her enemies.
Joan was led quite to the foot of the throne,
her name pronounced, the Count de Vendome
made his obeisance and bowed himself out of
the way. But Joan made no obeisance. One
long, silent puzzled look she gave the throne
and then slowly turned her eyes down the long
line of waiting knights on one side till they
rested on one. A joyous light came into her
face, with one swift motion she was on her
knees before him, her hands clasped together
and lifted to him as she said :
" God of His grace give you long life, O dear
and gentle Dauphin."
BLESSED JOAN OP ARC. 43
She had recognized him, though he had
changed places with another to test her.
" Do you seek the king ? " asked he, pointing
to the throne as if to make or to shake her
" Ah, my gracious liege, you are he, and none
"But who are you and what would you?"
" I am Joan the maid, and am sent to you
by the King of Heaven to tell you that you
shall be consecrated and crowned at Rheims,
and shall be thereafter Lieutenant of the Lord
of Heaven, who is King of France."
She paused and no one found words to utter.
She spoke again :
" The Lord of Heaven wills that you set me
at my appointed work, and give me men-at-
arms. For then will I raise the siege of Or-
leans and break the English power."
More than three hundred men of the king's
immediate following, had seen that humble girl
face unabashed, and yet with no boldness, that
grand assembly. They had been eye-witness to
her quick penetration of the king's disguise and
now their ears are filled with a message of
While they looked and listened for more of
that blessed voice, the King made a sign for all
to withdraw and Joan and himself were left
alone in a vacant space.
44 BLESSED JOAN OF ARC.
The two talked long and earnestly. This was
a most momentous conversation for Joan gave
him a sign by which he might know she came
from God to him.
What this sign was no one was told at the
time. It was seen to make a new man of the
doubting, despairing king, but no one guessed
it even. At Joan's trial two years afterwards
she was tortured unmercifully to make her
reveal it but she did not. Of course the whole
world knows it since. From depositions on
oath of eye-witnesses, from confessions of the
King to favorites in after years — handed down
by these the whole story is told and in sub-
stance it is this :
Naturally the King wished to believe that
Joan was sent to him to help him. The couriers
from Orleans were even then clamoring at his
gate for him to come and bring what men he
had to the help of Orleans. But many re-
verses had made him timorous.
" I wish I knew what to do," he said to Joan
" I will give you a sign and yon shall no
more doubt," said Joan. "There is a secret
trouble in your heart which you have not even
put into words. A doubt which wastes your
courage and makes you wish to fly from France
and hide your head in ignoble peace."
BLESSED JOAN OF ARC. 45
The King was amazed. Only that morning
he had gone to his chapel alone and prayed in
his heart that if through his weak mother's sin
he was only an imposition on the people of
France and no true heir to Charles VI, God
would make it known to him and he would
relinquish all right to the throne of Charle-
magne and St. Louis.
" Thou art lawful heir to the king, thy father,
and true heir of France. God has spoken it.
Now lift up thy head and doubt no more, but
give me men-at-arms and let me get about my
work, for I must raise the siege of Orleans."
No one but God knew of his doubt or his
resolve, and now here was a quick and com-
plete answer to both. The King was satisfied.
Not so his councillors. The old soldiers
among them made sport of the very idea of a
country maid raising the siege of Orleans,
where grim old veterans were trembling for the
morrow. When the King mentioned the ac-
curacy of the sign she gave him, the Archbishop
of Rheims reminded him gravely that Satan
knows the secrets of men.
And so the King was persuaded to form a
commission to examine Joan as to her author-
ity from God and to report to him.
Several bishops and their secretaries met
Joan every day for several days, asking her
46 BLESSED JOAN OF ARC.
questions about her Voices and her mission to
France. Joan's answers were always simple
and direct. The Commission did not like to
countenance the irregularity of a girl leading
an army, but they could not decide against
They advised the king to let her case go be-
fore the doctors of the university of Poitiers.
Once more must the heroic little woman
summon all her fortitude and her patience.
While the English were landing reinforce-
ments and strengthening their bastiles around
Orleans ; and the people of Orleans facing slow
death by hunger, or, later violent death and
everlasting disgrace, Joan must wait and wait
and wait for leave to succor them. One great
sign of the orthodoxy of Joan's mission was
her submission to the proper authority. She
would not, though guided by God and strong in
His care and lead, go from Vaucouleurs to
Chinon without proper authority and escort
from the Governor there. Nor would she lift
a finger to aid Orleans except under the lawful
authority of the king. There were men enough
who would follow her lead to the rescue of
Orleans if she gave the word. But she went
nowhere of her own free will. " Send me to
Orleans," she cried ; " give me fighting men —
few or many — and let me go ! "
BLESSED JOAN OF ARC. 47
That was peculiarily her plea always. " Gid-
eon's few " even, if only there was lawful au-
thority behind them.
For three weeks Joan had to undergo trial
as to her orthodoxy before a corps of learned
ecclesiastics at Poitiers. She sat or stood by
turns before them while they cross-questioned
her, badgered her, insulted her. She all the
while answering them patiently and sometimes
" I don't know A from B ; but I know this :
that I am come by command of the Lord of
Heaven to deliver Orleans from the English
power and crown the King at Rheims, and the
matters ye are pottering over are of no conse-
"You assert that God has willed to deliver
France from this English bondage? "
" Yes ; He has so willed it."
" You wish for men-at-arms so that you may
go to the relief of Orleans ? "
" Yes ; and the sooner the better."
" God is all powerful, and able to do what-
soever thing He wills to do, is it not so?"
" Most surely — none doubts it."
" Then answer me. If He has willed to de-
liver France, and is able to do whatsoever He
wills, where is the need for men-at-arms ? "
48 BLESSED JOAN OP ARC.
" The sons of France will fight the battles,
but God will give the victory ! "
The testimony of some of these doctors of
theology, who rigorously questioned Joan,
taken on oath, is to be seen in the archives of
Paris to-day. We shall quote one here as a
sample of the rest for they all under oath told
the same story in almost the very same words :
Brother Seguin de Seguin, Dominican, Pro-
fessor of Theology, Dean of the Faculty of
Theology of Poitiers.
" I saw Jeanne for the first time at Poitiers.
The King's Council was assembled in the house
of the Lady La Macee, the Archbishop of
Rheims, then Chancellor of France, being of
their number. I was summoned as was also
the Professor of Theology of the University of
Paris * * * and many others.
" The Council told us we were summoned,
in the King's name, to question Jeanne and
give our opinion upon her.
" I, in my turn, asked Jeanne what dialect
the Voices spoke.
" ' A better one than yours,' she replied. I
speak the Limousin dialect.
" Do you believe in God ? I asked her. ' In
truth, more than you do,' she answered. ' But
BLESSED JOAN OP ARC. 49
God wills that you should not be believed un-
less you show signs to prove that you ought to
be believed. We shall not advise the king to
risk an army on your simple statement.'
" ' In God's name, I am not come to Poitiers
to show signs; but send me to Orleans where
I shall show you the signs for which I am
sent.' * * *
" And then she foretold to me and to the
others these four things which should happen,
and which did afterwards come to pass. First,
that the English would be destroyed, the siege
of Orleans raised, and the town delivered from
the English. Secondly, that the King would be
crowned at Rheims. Thirdly, that Paris would
be restored to his dominion ; and fourthly, that
the Duke of Orleans (then a prisoner in Eng-
land) would be brought back from England.
" And I who speak have in truth seen these
four things accomplished.
" We reported all this to the king, and gave
our opinion that considering the extreme neces-
sity, the king might make use of her help and
send her to Orleans.
" Besides we enquired into her life and
morals. We found she was a good Christian,
living as a Catholic and never idle. In order
that her manner of living might better be
known women were placed with her who were
50 BLESSED JOAN OF ARC.
to report to the king's council her actions and
" As for me, I believe she was sent from God,
because, at the time when she appeared, the
king and all the French people with him had
lost hope; no one thought of aught but to save
The verdict made a prodigious stir. The
news of it flew like wildfire and every man in
France awoke to the meaning of it. For a
long time past there had been no French army
in the field. The king's authority was openly
flouted. The Duke of Burgundy openly for the
English side was making friends with the
Dukes of Lorraine and Brittany for the
English alliance. Money had run out. There
was absolutely no hope left. And in this strait
the king and his council decided to stake their
last chance in the proffered help of this maid,
who claimed to come from God.
In truth there was no help for France now
but from God. The council of theologians an-
nounced also that as Joan must do the work
of a man she could do it better in the dress of
A day later with a great blare of trumpets
the King announced that Joan of Arc, called
the Maid, was appointed general in chief of
the armies of France. The Duke d'Alencon, a
BLESSED JOAN OF ARC. gl
relative of the king, a brave soldier newly ran-
somed from a three years' captivity in England
was made her lieutenant.
It was a great day for Joan. Her happiness
found vent in fervent thanks to her Divine
Lord that now France's long night was near its
end. Her enthusiasm was caught up by the
people near her and spread far and quickly
until all France was eager to begin the work
Joan went to Tours at once to have a suit
of armor fitted her.
She sent at the same time to Fierbois asking
the churchmen of St. Catherine's to send her
an old sword they would find buried behind
the altar. They found the sword, and cleaned
it and fitting a sheath to it sent it to her.
Now was Joan equipped and ready for
She reorganizes the French army and warns the English
to leave France.
Joan's first oflScial act as General-in-Chief of
the armies of France was to send a letter to
the English commanders concentrated before
Orleans ordering them to deliver up all the
cities in their possession and depart from
Joan was never one to hesitate or lose time
once her work was in view. She sent this
letter at once by a trusted messenger, Guienne,
so that the Englishmen might have time to
cogitate over it while she was making prepara-
tions to follow it up. The letter is among the
original documents preserved still in the ar-
chives of Paris. It reads :
" JESU, MARIE.
" King of England ; and you, Duke of Bed-
ford, who call yourself Regent of the King-
dom of France; you, William de la Pole, Earl
of Suffolk; John, Lord Talbot; and you,
Thomas, Lord Scales, who call yourselves^ Lieu-
BLESSED JOAN OP ARC. 53
tenants to the Duke of Bedford: Give satis-
faction to the King of Heaven; give up to the
maid, who is sent hither by God, the King of
Heaven, the keys of all the good towns in
France which you have taken and broken into.
She is come here by the order of God to reclaim
the blood royal. She is quite ready to make
peace, if you are willing to give her satisfac-
tion, by giving and paying back to France what
you have taken. And as for you, archers, com-
panions-in-arms, gentlemen and others, who are
before the town of Orleans, return to your own
countries, by God's order; and if this be not
done, then hear the message of the Maid, who
will shortly come upon you to your very great
King of England, I am a chieftain of war and,
if this be not done, wheresoever I find your fol-
lowers in France I will make them leave, will-
ingly or unwillingly; if they will not leave I
will have them put to death.
I am sent here by God, the King of Heaven,
to drive them all out of the whole of France.
And if they will obey I will have mercy on
And do not think to yourselves that you will
get possession of the realm of France from
God, the King of Heaven, Son of the Blessed
Mary; for King Charles will gain it, the true
54 BLESSED JOAN OF ARC.
heir ; and God, the King of Heaven, so wills it,
and it is revealed to him, (the King) by the
Maid, and he will enter Paris with a good
If you will not believe the message of God
and of the Maid and act aright, in whatsoever
place we find you, we will enter therein and
make so great a disturbance that for a thou-
sand years none in France will be so great.
And believe surely that the King of Heaven
will send greater power to the Maid, to her and
her good men-at-arms, than you can bring to
the attack; and, when it comes to blows, we
shall see who has the better right from the
King of Heaven.
You, Duke of Burgundy, the Maid prays and
enjoins, you, that you do not come to grievous
hurt. If you will give her satisfactory pledges,
you may yet join with her, so that the French
may do the fairest deed that has ever yet been
done for Christendom.
And answer, if you wish to make peace in
the City of Orleans; if this be not done you
may shortly be reminded of it to your very
Written this Tuesday in Holy Week, March
• • • • • • •
Now was a busy month ahead for Joan.
BLESSED JOAN OF ARC. 5g
Following the King's proclamation that she
was henceforward the chief in command of the
armies of France, was the necessity for her
to see the generals and the army, to recruit
The great and good Dunois, Governor of Or-
leans, had been clamoring for weeks for speedy
assistance. He sent a valued veteran oflflcer
to the King, old D'Aulon, whom the King at
once recommended to Joan, and was accepted
as chief of her personal staff.
Joan had all her old friends of the journey
from Vaucouleurs put on her staff, too, re-
lying for success more on honest hearts than
on military knowledge; for had she not said
time and time again that the victory would
come from God?
The King had a complete suit of armor made
for her at Tours nearby, a town famous for its
workers in metals. It was of silver white
steel, complete as any soldier's, but lighter in
She herself designed her standard for the
painter, whose name was James Powers, as
the records tell.
The banner was of white silk, fringed. For
device it bore the representation of God the
Father, throned in the clouds, the globe in His
hand, two angels kneeling on either side.
56 BLESSED JOAN OF ARC.
The reverse bore the crown of Charlemagne
upheld by two angels.
A smaller standard was made also bearing
a picture of the Annunciation.
Joan chose for recruiting station and
marching point for Orleans, the town of
Blois, about thirty miles from Orleans, and
like Orleans on the north bank of the Loire —
whereas Chinon and Tours were on the south
side of the river.
At Blois a great store of provisions were
prepared to be conveyed to the famished Or-
leanists. At Blois, too, the army was put in
shape for Orleans. La Hire, the Marshal of
France, was placed in charge of it till Joan
Joan all in armor and with her standards
and her general staff of oflScers, D'Alencon,
D'Aulon, Bertrand de Poulengy, Jean de Metz,
her two brothers, Louis de Contes, and a giant
in size though not in sense, named in all the
records " The Paladin," who had followed her
from Domremy, and to whom she gave charge
of her standards, and a numerous retinue all
in new armor, came to Blois in the last week
of April, 1429.
There she found an army of about twelve
thousand men well armed and well organized
under the leadership of La Hire who next
BLESSED JOAN OF ARC. 57
to Dunois, Bastard of Orleans, bore the
mightiest military name in Prance. La Hire
had his battallions well drilled in military tac-
tics but Joan wanted more than that. She
wanted a moral soldiery.
She allowed no women in the camp. She
forbade all drinking and disorder. More
than that, " Every man who joins my standard
must confess before the priest and be absolved
from sin; and all accepted recruits must be
present at divine service twice a day," she pro-
She caused a banner bearing a representa-
tion of Our Lord on the cross to be painted,
and twice a day she had the priests to as-
semble in the midst of the army, raising this
banner and singing hymns to the Blessed Vir-
gin. Only the soldiers who confessed in the
morning were allowed to join in these
hymns. And she saw to it that priests were
always on hand to hear confessions. This is
known on the sworn testimony of many of these
These same documents tell, too, of Joan's
efforts to bring to a state of grace the giant
old soldier, La Hire. He whose every second
word was an oath and to whom prayer and
pity were equally strangers, was gently ap-
proached by this angel of both prayer and
58 BLESSED JOAN OF ARC.
pity. As they rode side by side through the
camp, inspecting and perfecting, Joan broke
it to La Hire that he, too, had a soul to save
and that he must do honor to God by raising
his hands in prayer to Him. At first the old
soldier laughed at the idea. But Joan pressed
him hard. He must pray.
La Hire held out as long as he could, but
his prayer at last is among the records of
those miraculous days, and is worthy of the
strong simple soul of the old soldier, whose
whole life was spent on battlefields — always
grim and mostly hopeless.
At Joan's gentle persistence La Hire, who
could refuse her nothing, raised his mailed
hands to heaven as he stood before the Maid
and prayed : " Fair, Sir God, I pray you to do
by La Hire as he would do by you if you were
La Hire and he were God."
And for the time being Joan was obliged to
At last all was ready and on the 27th of
April, the French army, Joan of Arc at its
head, started in great strength and splendor
Joan in her shining white armor rode at the
head of it with her personal staff; then a body
of priests bearing the crucifix and singing the
" Veni Creator " ; behind them in five divisions,
BLESSED JOAN OP ARC. 59
the army of France, not more than twelve
thousand but, under the new leader and the
new hope, an invincible legion.
Joan's plan was to march along the north
bank of the river to Orleans and into Orleans.
But the old military leaders of France had
put their heads together and deemed that a
Joan's proposal to march boldly up on Or-
leans seemed to them insane. How could an
army of twelve thousand force its way through
Talbot's English camp, the major part of which
was just near that western gate she planned to
enter? Better go the other way and instead
of oflfering open battle in the face of odds, be-
siege the besiegers by cutting ofiE their supplies
So Joan and the army, unsuspicious of
treachery, were led to Orleans by way of the
Soulonge instead by the Bleuce road. The
third day's march brought the army in sight
of Orleans and Joan saw the river Loire be-
tween her and the beleaguered city and knew
she had been tricked.
Dunois, the Governor of Orleans, came with
his staff in a boat across to meet her.
" Are you the Bastard of Orleans ? " she
asked, using the only title he bore then.
" I am, and right glad of your coming," said
60 BLESSED JOAN OF ARC.
" Was it you who gave counsel to come by
this bank of the river, so that I cannot go
straight against Talbot and the English ? "
" I, and others wiser than I, gave that coun-
sel, and I think it the wiser way and the safer."
" In God's name, the counsel of Our Lord is
wiser and safer than yours. You think to de-
ceive me, and you deceive yourself, for I bring
you better rescue than ever came to knight or
city, the succor of the King of Heaven. At
the prayer of St. Louis and of Charlemagne,
he has had pity on Orleans and will not suffer
the enemy to have both the Duke of Orleans
and his city." (The Duke of Orleans was at
this time a prisoner in England.)
Joan was hurt and sad. Here were pro-
visions for the starving in Orleans, but the
boats were below the city, the wind was against
them, and the army had no chance whatever of
marching into Orleans.
Dunois admitted a blunder had been made.
" Yes, a blunder has been made and except
God take your proper work upon Himself and
change the wind, there is no remedy."
But at the prayer of Joan just that did
happen. The wind did change, the fleet of
boats came up and conveyed the provisions into
But Joan and the army must go back to
BLESSED JOAN OP ARC. Qi
Blois and start again for Orleans on the other
side of the river.
Joan gave her orders accordingly with many
grievings over the precious time so lost while
her army was in the state of grace and so full
Worse yet, Dunois begged her not to go
back with the army. Let the other generals
lead it. The people of Orleans were expecting
her and he could not answer for what they
might do if he went back to them without her.
So Joan bade her beloved army go all the
way back to Blois and crossing the river come
by the other road to Orleans where she would
be looking for them inside a week. She went
with La Hire and a few companies of lancers
All Orleans crowded to meet her. On her
white horse and with the shining white armor
that seemed even brighter in the glare of the
innumerable torches Joan looked the inspired
messenger of Heaven. It was evening when at
the Burgundy gate the expectant masses in-
side met the long-hoped band of deliverance,
and the air was filled with shouts of joy and
cries of welcome.
Straight for the great Cathedral at Joan's
command the procession formed. Joan was
62 BLESSED JOAN OF ARC.
allowed to enter first and after her as many aa
could get in and those on the squares and
streets around took up the hymn of thanks and
praise while bells rang and cannon boomed. It
was late that night when Joan laid aside the
coat of mail in which she had slept the two
previous nights with great discomfort to bone
At the house of Jacques Boucher, treasurer
of the city, rooms were prepared for her where
she was to stay, while in Orleans, the honored
guest of Madame Boucher and her young
Next morning, Saturday, she was up early
and after hearing several Masses in the Cathe-
dral and before she broke her fast, we are told,
she set about inquiring about her messenger
that she had sent with the letter to the English.
No one knew of any answer nor of any mes-
senger. She had sent him from Blois with
directions to bring her the answer in Orleans.
She now sent her two heralds with a new letter
warning the English to raise the siege and
to return the missing messenger. For answer
to her demands they brought back from the
English commanders to her a notice that they
would presently catch her and burn her. Then
she sent the heralds back :
" Go back and say to Lord Talbot from me :
BLESSED JOAN OF ARC. 63
' Come out of your bastiles with your host,
and I will come with mine; if I beat you, go
in peace out of France; if you beat me bum
me, according to your desire."
This challenge was not accepted.
Sunday morning she spent again in the
Cathedral and later in the day she told Dunois
her army was in some danger and begged him
to go to Blois and lead it for her to Orleans.
Dunois sure enough found one Regnault de
Chartres, a self-seeking, proud officer, conspir-
ing with others of lesser importance to prevent
the march to Orleans. Dunois rushed the
army to Orleans — all the city turned out to
meet it. Joan and her staff met and greeted
the head of the column four or five miles out-
side the city and Joan held a review of the
now happy troops— happy at having her again
for encouragement and inspiration.
It is told in the annals of that day that the
greatest surprise those French soldiers ever
had so far was that march into Orleans. With
Joan on her white steed at their head they
rode past the fortified bastilles with which the
English had surrounded the principal avenues
of approach to the city. The strongest for-
tress of the English was just on the line of
march of that incoming army. Each side could
see the other; Lord Talbot's men could easily
64 BLESSED JOAN OF ARC.
count the Frenchmen. But Joan nor her men
never looked Lord Talbot's way — nor did Lord
Talbot's men take any notice of Joan's army.
Doubtless it was again the cloud by day shield-
ing those whom God would shield. By night
Joan's army was safe inside Orleans and after
the city had yelled itself hoarse with joy and
welcome all settled down for as peaceful a
night as Orleans ever saw before or since.
That was Tuesday, May 3, 1429.
Strike boldly I God will give the victory ! On to Orleans !
It was not to be expected that the young
girl from Domremy could take the command
of the armies of the nation from brave and ex-
perienced old commanders, nor from dashing
and ambitious young ones, without some op-
position, open or secret.
Nothing but the plainly miraculous nature
of her help, and their extreme need, would
have induced the French oflScers to accept her
at all. But even then there were limits. Let
her do the miracles. They would do the fight-
Well, that is what Joan wanted, too. " Let
the sons of France fight; God will give the
victory," was the spirit of her war messages
from the first. She never counted her men.
She knew that victory came from God and
waited not on numbers or scientific tactics.
" Strike boldly; God will help the right." She
arrogated to herself no credit. She did not
want to fight. When they wanted to sharpen
66 BLESSED JOAN OF ARC.
her sword for her at Fierbois, she would not
have it. She did not carry it to kill anybody,
but as a sign of authority, she said. (By the
way, she broke that same consecrated sword
later, driving away some dissolute women that
were inclined to follow the army. She was
death on such and never would let one of them
in camp.) To return to the fighters :
The knightly old veterans of the hundred
years' war with England were eager enough
for battle. But they had their military tac-
tics and councils of war, and pride and pru-
dence, for none of which Joan saw any place
in this campaign. This was not a war between
two equal combatants in a fair field. The
French were in their last ditch, outnumbered
and surrounded and cowed.
The French generals were glad to believe
Joan came to them with succor from heaven,
but the remnant of the old Adam in them pre-
vented their generous acceptance of her terms.
" Bold attack," was the keynote of her system.
But the grizzled war chiefs always found a
way to temper her boldness and so delay the
Still it always turned out that when they
followed their own plans, they came to grief,
and were glad to return to her way of think-
ing. As in the case of the army coming from
BLESSED JOAN OF ARC. 67
Blois to Orleans. They cheated her out of the
bold road through the enemy's country, and
had to let the army retrace and come exactly
by that way after all — losing a week's time and
not learning properly their lesson from it.
For the great captains of Prance chafed and
balked all through those splendid maneuvers,
that in a few weeks cleared the country of an
invading army, that had come to stay forever,
and believed itself at home.
Knowing how the end would be Joan was
patient and firm through it all, and kindest to
these proud, old soldiers when they thwarted
her most. She always grieved, though, at the
delays to the deliverance of France thus caused.
If she had had her way she would have raised
the siege the very first time she appeared be-
fore Orleans. But she had to curb her im-
petuosity, and lose a week through the blunders
of the secret conspirators.
Now this happy 4th of May, 1429, a decent
French army, freshly accoutred, was safe with-
in the walls of Orleans, to the great joy of the
inhabitants who had been facing certain death
either by famine inside the walls or the English
Joan was tired out with her morning's work
of meeting and escorting the army into the
city past the English forts.
68 BLESSED JOAN OF ARC.
The army was tired from more than a week's
marching forward, and back, and forward
Joan and the generals, and every individual
soldier, had laid aside their arms now with a
feeling of freedom from danger, and not know-
ing just how or when the beginning of the end
of the siege was to be. Joan had said that
within five days there would not be an English
soldier in or around Orleans. But she lay
down for a needed rest now.
This was Wednesday, May 4, and the French
army and its glorious young commander-in-
chief were asleep at noon. All at once Joan
jumped up and called out : " My arms ! Give
me my arms. French blood is being spilled."
All around her was bustle and excitement
in a moment. She was herself the first in
armor and on a horse; her banner had to be
reached to her through a window, so hastily
did she get ready. Without waiting to see
who followed she raised her banner high and
galloped furiously in the direction from which
she could now plainly hear the noise of the
battle. She followed the sound across the
width of the city and as the crowds gathered at
the sound of her horse's hoofs, "'Forward,
French hearts! Follow me," she shouted.
Fast as they could arm and follow they did
BLESSED JOAN OF ARC. 69
SO. First her staff and close after them the
troops nearest hand, all making for the Bur-
It appears that the garrison so long hope-
less, had got excited over Joan's coining, and
all it promised, and were anxious to begin.
Without orders from anybody some oflScers
planned a little sortie of their own and made
an attack on one of Talbot's thirteen fortresses
built around the city — the fortress of St. Loup
— and got the worst of it. Were getting the
worst would be more accurate, for Joan came
to their aid in good time.
As she, at the head of her eager troopers,
rushed out the Burgundy gate, they met the
wounded being brought in. The sight moved
Joan very much.
" Ah ! French blood ; it makes my hair rise
to see it," she said. Waving her banner high
over her head she called out : " Follow me ! "
And out into the open field she dashed for
her first battle with the English. She did not
have to fight the Burgundians. It is a curious
fact that the Burgundian allies had been sent
elsewhere a short time before. Orleans was
deemed an easy prey and there was work for
So Joan was spared the pain of fighting
70 BLESSED JOAN OF ARC.
This hastily improvised battle was a real
one, no less. The garrison of St. Loup had
come out of their bastile to meet the French
attack. The garrison from another bastile,
nearby, had come to help them and the French-
men seemed to have but small chance of ever
getting inside the Burgundy gate again.
When Joan came charging through the re-
treating French crying : " Forward men —
follow me," there came a change. The French
turned about and followed her and surged for-
ward like a great wave of the sea. They swept
down upon the English and through them and
doubled back and hemmed them round, the
English fighting and backing ther way again
into St. Loup, leaving wounded and dead out-
side on the field.
Joan thought for a brief space.
" We will take this fortress," she concluded.
" We will carry it by storm. Sound the
A wave of incredulity and remonstrance
swept over the faces of Dunois and the rest.
They thought the attempt needlessly hasty as
well as desperate.
" Will you always play with these English? "
she asked. " Now verily, I will not budge until
this place is ours. Let the bugles sound the
BLESSED JOAN OF ARC. 71
And truly wWle their blood was up was just
the time to fight.
The martial notes rang out, the troops an-
swered with a yell and dashed themselves
against the walls whose sides were now spout-
ing flame and smoke. They were driven back.
" Forward," was Joan's word again. Again
they hurled themselves against those deadly
walls and again and again, each time with ever
increasing zest. At last La Hire came with a
fresh body of men just in time to be in with a
fresh and final rush against the smoking walls,
and soon St. Loup was full of the victorious
French. All of the English who were not killed
were taken prisoners and the French standard
was planted on the walls to remain there.
" The English died at St. Loup in great
numbers," say the Chronicles, and Joan's con-
" Jeanne was much afflicted when she heard
they died without confession."
Her confessor testified also : " On this day,
the eve of the Ascension, she predicted that
within five days the siege would be raised and
not a single Englishman left in or around
Joan and the victorious army marched back
into the city, with their prisoners and a large
quantity of ammunition and food from the
72 BLESSED JOAN OP ARC.
captured St. Loup. Straight to the Cathedral
first to give thanks to God Joan led the way.
Thanks for this first victory of a whole series
of victories to come, and soon.
Joan's care was always to lead the march to
the Cathedral; and so it is eminently fitting
that the hroad, beautiful avenue leading to the
Cathedral to this day is named " Rue Jeanne
After the Te Deum the interrupted rest waa
resumed. " The army slept," the annals say.
Next day was Ascension Thursday. Joan
was early at Mass, at Confession, at Holy Com-
munion, and then she had this letter written to
the English in the forts:
" JESU, MARIE.
" You, men of England, who have no right in
this kingdom of France, the King of Heaven
orders and commands you by me, Jeanne the
Maid, that you quit your strong places and re-
turn to your own country; if you do not I
will cause you such an overthrow as shall be
remembered for all time. I write to you for
the third and last time, and shall write to you
« JEANNE la PUCELLE."
BLESSED JOAN OF ARC. 73
To which this note was added :
" I would have sent this letter in a more
suitable manner, but you keep back my her-
alds ; you have kept my herald, Guinne ; I pray
you send him back and I will send you some
of your people who have been taken at St.
Loup — for all were not killed there."
Joan fastened this letter to an arrow head
and had an archer shoot it towards the English,
at the same time calling loudly in her clear,
young voice : " Read, here is news."
The English received the arrow, and read
the letter and shouted in answer : " Yes, news
from the harlot of the Armagnacs " — which
made Joan wince and weep and seek comfort
and strength in prayer.
After supper that night a council of war
was held in the house of one of the big men of
the city. She heard the captains of war, in
turn, advise to make haste slowly and tire the
English out. Her usual gentleness was some-
what modified by her impatience as she gave
her word in her turn:
" I am commander here ; you have my orders
here and now. We move upon the forts on
the south bank of the river to-morrow at
" That means we must first take the fort oa
74 BLESSED JOAN OP ARC.
the north bank— the bastile St, John?" said
an iron-gray warrior.
" We will not need to mind the bastile St.
John. The English themselves will know
enough to vacate it when they see us coming
and strengthen themselves in the forts across
the river," was her prophetic answer. It was
an answer to be expected from an expert tac-
And so it proved. The English were at last
on the defensive, whereas they had been the
attacking party always heretofore, as their
fathers and grandfathers had been.
Early the next morning, Friday, the 6th of
May, Joan led the newly shrived and eager
army out the Burgundy gate, and towards the
river, which they crossed in boats to the island
(St. Aignan) in the middle of the river, and
front of the ci ty. Thence over the narrow strip
of river in a bridge of boats to the now aban-
doned fort of St. John — hastily abandoned by
the English when they saw the French line of
march in the morning. From St. John, the
white standard of John floated on down the
river a little way and then stopped fair and
square, right in front of the formidable fortress
that guarded the entrance of the bridge that
led into the city — the fortress of the Augustins.
Joan came to a stand in the face of the for-
BLESSED JOAN OF ARC. 75
tress and, without waiting for the rest of the
army to come up, ordered the bugles to sound
the assault at once. The trumpets sounded.
Joan's voice rang out in " Onward in God's
name ! " and the French threw themselves
against the walls furiously. They were driven
back. The bugles again rang out, again Joan's
word of command thrilled the heart of every
man, again they faced the living walls, and
again were forced back.
By this time the fortress (English) of St.
Prive, about three-quarters of a mile away,
further down the river, sent its garrison on a
run to the help of the Augustins.
Seeing them coming, the garrison of the
Augustins sallied out of their walls to meet
them, and together they rushed on the French.
Hour after hour of fierce fighting followed,
the English finally backing into their fortress
again, the French pursuing and battering
against the walls, receding and advancing with
ever increasing impetuosity until they at last
planted the Maid's fair banner on the top, full
in sight of the English at the other forts, and
in sight of the towers of Orleans.
It was a great fight and a great victory. It
had lasted from early morning until sundown.
The strong fortress of the Augustins guarding
the bridge was now in the hands of the French.
76 BLESSED JOAN OF ARC.
But between them and the city of Orleans, was
the still stronger fort of the Tourelles, of which
the Augustins was the outpost. To free the
bridge and raise the siege, the twin Tourelles
must be taken and the Boulevard that strength-
ened them, also. Here was Joan's work for
the morrow already mapped out.
Now between them and Orleans were the
strong twin Tourelles and the Boulevard.
They would have to go the roundabout way
they came to get back to the Burgundy gate.
She decided at once that the army must sleep
on their arms where they were, ready for the
In the few hours of daylight left she ordered
the Augustins emptied of its artillery and am-
munition and the stores destroyed, lest the
eating and drinking demoralize the troops and
unfit them for the morning's work, its hardest
task yet on the morrow.
To her confessor she said :
" Rise early and stay by me all day. To-
morrow I will have much more to do than ever
I had and blood will flow from my body above
Her confessor tells also on oath that whereas
she always fasted on Friday most rigorously,
after this day's hard work she took some sup-
per, feeling great need of it. She wished to
BLESSED JOAN OF ARC. 77
stay with the army all night, but yielded to the
pressure of D'Aulon and the others, and re-
turned to the city for a night's rest.
But her anxiety for the army had her up very
early next morning. After Mass, and without
waiting for breakfast, she was on her horse and
eager to be off. She was besought to eat some-
thing. A fine fish, the first fruits of the free-
dom of the river front, was prepared for her.
But she would not wait to eat, saying gaily :
" There is going to be fish in plenty. When
this day's work is over the whole river front
will be yours to do with as you please. I shall
come back to Orleans by the bridge."
Now this was looked upon as extravagance
" The place, to all men of the sword, seemed
impregnable," said Percival de Oagny.
" Doubt not, the place is ours," called out
the girlish voice of the commander-in-chief.
The twin Tourelles and the Boulevard were
all manned and ammunitioned, and the garri-
son, strong and saucy, had not the least notion
of surrendering; nor had the fighting men of
France any hope of dislodging them with a
year's fighting much less a day's.
At sunrise on May 7, Joan heard Mass and
started at once for the Augustins, with Du-
nois, La Hire, de Saintrailles, de Villars, and
78 BLESSED JOAN OF ARC.
many other captains of war and as many of the
garrison as could be spared from the safekeep-
ing of Orleans. They went by the boats, as the
day before, in full view of the English in the
Tourelles. The commander of the Tourelles, a
brave soldier named Glasdale, sent a very in-
sulting message to the Maid. But undauntedly
her joyous voice rang out : " In God's name,
we shall enter the town this night by the
Only by a miracle could this happen, for on
this bridge between them and Orleans was this
series of fortifications and brave, live bodies
of Englishmen fully as many as the French.
And here again the nation's warriors crossed
councils with their inspired leader. They
boldly held her intention of attacking the
Tourelles as madness — a useless sacrifice of
life, and calculated to bring scorn upon the
nation's military records.
But Joan led the assault on the Boulevard
at early morn, and they could do but her
She pounded it with artillery incessantly
from morn till noon. Then she ordered the
assault, and led it herself.
Her standard was the guiding star for every
eye. Her clear voice ringing out now and again
thrilled every heart, nerved every arm. Down
BLESSED JOAN OP ARC. 79
into the fosse went Joan and started to climb
a scaling ladder, when an iron bolt struck her
between the neck and the shoulder, tearing
through her armor, and piercing her through
and through. Her cry of pain as she sank to
the ground was heard by French and English,
though with different emotions.
The English sent up a glad shout and surged
about the spot where she fell. The French
centered there, too — and for a short while it
seemed as if the fate of France hung upon the
fate of that small figure whose blood broke
the glowing whiteness of her silver armor.
"If the English had captured Joan then,"
says Mark Twain in his poetic account of her
life, " Charles VII would have flown the coun-
try, the Treaty of Troyes (making the King of
England the King of France also) would have
held good and France already English prop-
erty, would have become, without further dis-
pute, an English province, to so remain till the
Judgment Day. It was the most momentous
ten minutes that the clock has ever ticked in
France or ever will. * * * Joan of Arc lay
bleeding in the fosse, with two nations strug-
gling over her for possession of her."
Joan was with diflaculty carried out of the
melee to a safe place, her armor removed, her
wound dressed with oil, and she lay down for
a necessary rest.
80 BLESSED JOAN OF ARC.
The battle had to go on without her. Of that
battle it is hard to write briefly. Historians
call it one of the fifteen decisive battles of the
world. Pictures and poems and graphic de-
scriptions of it we have in plenty. By all the
rules of war the English should have won.
They had everything in their favor except —
the will of God.
One of the chief actors in this battle is the
Count de Dunois, the great " Bastard of Or-
leans," whose name will always be nobly asso-
ciated with Joan's in the chronicles of that
wonderful campaign, spoke of it simply enough
when he was on his oath some few years later.
It is like a soldier's statement — confined to
" The attack lasted throughout, from the
morning until eight o'clock in the evening,
without hope of success for us; for which
reason I was anxious that the army should re-
tire into the town. The Maid (who had been
wounded previously and was suffering keenly)
then came to me, praying me to wait yet a little
longer. Thereupon she mounted her horse, re-
tired to a vineyard, remained in prayer about
half an hour, then, returning and seizing her
banner by both hands, she placed herself on the
edge of the trench. At sight of her the English
trembled, and were seized with sudden fear.
BLESSED JOAN OF ARC. 81
Our people, on the contrary, took courage and
began to mount, and assail the Boulevard, not
meeting any resistance. Thus was the Boule-
vard taken, and the English therein put to
flight. All were killed, among them Glasdale,
and the other principal English captains of the
Bastile, who, thinking to gain the bridge
Tower, fell into the river and were drowned.
Their heavy armor carried them to the bottom
at once. ' Ah ! God pity them,' said Joan, and
she wept. Before the sun went down quite,
that Saturday evening, Joan's memorable day's
work was over, her banner floated free from the
enemy's greatest fortress, her promise was ful-
filled, she had raised the siege of Orleans."
" What the first generals of France had called
impossible," says Mark Twain, " was accom-
plished. In spite of the king's ministers and
war councils, the country maid of seventeen
had carried her immortal task through and
had done it in four days as she had promised
to do a year before."
Home by the bridge went the happy army
that night, Joan ahead; and all Orleans came
to meet them. Such bonfires and bells and
shouting can never be described !
When a lull came it was to let the wounded
and tired little maiden warrior rest.
" She has given us peace, she shall have peace
82 BLESSED JOAN OF ARC.
herself ! " they said. All knew that next day
the whole region would be empty of the Eng-
lish, and all said that never should France for-
get that day. Orleans does to this day, keep
holiday all those five days from May 4, but
especially with military honors, and religious
thanksgiving, and general rejoicing, the 8th of
May — Joan of Arc's Day.
"The stroke of God" — Beginning of the end of the
hundred years of English occupation.
" The stroke of God," the English Duke of
Bedford called the demolition of the English
fortresses that guarded the bridge over the
river into Orleans on that brave Saturday
evening, May 8, when the news of it was
brought him a few days later to Paris, where
he was ensconced securely, as he thought for all
" All things prospered for you till the time
of the siege of Orleans," he wrote to the young
king of England.
But those four days' work around and out-
side the walls of Orleans decided the fate of
the English in France. They had to go and
as the sequel proved they did not stand on the
order of their going, but went quickly.
There was quite a dramatic finale to the
siege of Orleans not often found, if ever, in
books of battles and sieges.
The four days' fighting had been on the east
side and in front of the city. The fortresses of
St. Loup, St. Jean le Blanc, the Augustins, the
Tourelles, formed the English stronghold on
84 BLESSED JOAN OP ARC.
two main sides of the city. On the west, on
the way to Blois and Tours and Ohinon, out-
side the Eegnart Gate were encamped in
greater number but not so fortified, the main
English army under Lord Talbot.
They could not get to the aid of the Tourelles
even if they had had time to collect their
thoughts and get themselves together for such
a reinforcement. The descent of Joan and the
army on the bridge fortresses had been swift
and too overwhelming in its result.
The French returned " by the bridge " that
Saturday night and after the fervent thanks-
givings in the churches, and the inevitable
shouting and exultation over the victory, they
had dropped from sheer exhaustion into a few
hours of as deep and peaceful sleep as few
Frenchmen had known in that neighborhood
for nearly a year.
Not many hours of sleep though, for at the
first streak of dawn the watchers on the towers
after feasting their eyes on the still smoking
remains of the English forts across the river,
turning their eyes westward, where the enemy's
camp whitened the plain, saw unusual signs of
activity for so early an hour. The English had
left their tents and were drawn up in line of
battle. Quickly the Maid and the French cap-
tains and garrison and tired soldiers were up
The Siege of Orleans.
BLESSED JOAN OF ARC. 87
and marshaled. Out of the Regnart Gate,
Joan led them and soon they were in shape for
work, facing the English troops and between
them and the city walls.
Thus the two armies stood a brief space.
Both apparently ready, neither anxious to
For once Joan was not calling " Forward
French hearts ! " She surveyed the field quietly
for a few moments and then saying : " This is
Sunday morning," gave orders for a table to
be brought, and a temporary altar erected right
there on the field, between the two armies.
Her confessor then ofifered up the Holy Sacri-
fice, and immediately after him another priest
did so, both armies attending as reverently as
circumstances permitted. When the second
Mass was finished, Joan, who had dismounted
and knelt near the altar, asked those near her
how were the English facing.
" Their backs are towards us. They are fac-
ing Meung," was the answer.
" They are going. In God's name we will let
them go. We shall catch them another time,"
she said. A detachment of the French army
followed them some distance to be sure they
were not planning some detour.
As it proved later the English retired to
Meung, a town about ten miles down the Loire
88 BLESSED JOAN OF ARC.
from Orleans, which had been a long time in
possession of the English.
After following them a few leagues, the
French army turned back to Orleans and the
day was given up to processions to the churches
in thanksgiving; and later in the day to civic
and military parades and music and illumina-
In the evening the populace spread itself
freely and happily outside the gates over the
open fields from which they had been so long
shut off, and enjoyed the spring freshness of
meadow and forest to the full.
'Twas a happy day to Orleans and to this
day it is sacred to religious processions in the
morning and military parades and maneuvers
in the afternoon — it is Joan of Arc Day —
Now that the siege of Orleans really was
raised did Joan rest on her oars and nurse her
still paipful wound ? No ! There was no peace
for Joan till Prance was free. Now for
Eheims and the Coronation of Charles and
then to Paris to take his Capital from the
English. That was her plan and she was eager
to put it through at once.
To the east and west were towns on the
Loire occupied by the English. These must be
recovered. But her first duty now was to go
BLESSED JOAN OP ARC. 89
to the Dauphin, have him crowned and then
with his authority — maybe his help — clear
Paris and then these Loire towns and every
town in France, of the invaders. Leaving La
Hire in charge of the army and garrison in
Orleans, she took a small escort and proceeded
towards Blois and Chinon to meet the Dauphin.
Charles came as far as Tours to meet her.
Less than a week before he had sent her hope-
fully over this same route and he welcomed her
now joyously and with a feeling of awe that
she could be responsible for such a change in
his fortunes in one short week. The journals
of those days tell of the glad picture they made
riding side by side with bands playing and
banners flying and the wondering people on
the streets striving to see and to touch if pos-
sible the angel of deliverance sent so directly
from heaven to them.
The whole country was full of her praises as
couriers rode here and there to all the towns
still in the King's fealty with the news of the
end of the siege of Orleans.
But Joan took little comfort in the praises
of the people. She repeatedly asserted that if
the Dauphin were but crowned the power of
his enemies would quickly dwindle.
She begged Charles to accompany her at
once to Rheims. But Charles was surrounded
90 BLESSED JOAN OF ARC.
by unworthy councillors who advised him to
hesitate going to Eheims through a country
still infested with English.
The Archbishop of Rheims' opinion was:
" We piously believe her to be the angel of
the armies of the Lord," and he advised that
while human wisdom must exercise itself in
matters of military finance, artillery, bridges,
and so forth, in extraordinary enterprises the
Maid should be first and chiefly consulted.
But the self-seeking and truculent La Tre-
moille, the king's chief councillor, counter-
weighed the Archbishop's advice and kept
Charles idle on the plea that it would not be
safe to go to Eheims while the towns on the
way were inimical to him.
" Noble Dauphin," Joan said at length, after
nearly two weeks of waiting to move him;
" hold not such long councils but come at
once to Rheims and be worthily crowned."
One of the king's pusillanimous council,
d'Harcourt, asked her if the march on Rheims
was part of the monitions of her saintly ad-
" Yes, they chiefly insist on it."
" Will you not tell us in the presence of the
King what is the nature of this council of
The King was ashamed at the bold question
BLESSED JOAN OF ARC. 91
and told her she need not answer it unless she
wished to do so.
" I will tell you willingly," she said.
" When I am somewhat hurt because I am
not readily believed in the things which I
speak from God, I am wont to go apart and
pray God, complaining that they are hard of
belief; and after that prayer I hear a Voice
saying to me : ' Daughter of God, go on ! go on !
go on ! I will be your aid, go on ! ' When I
hear that voice I am glad and desire always
to be in that state."
And her countenance was raised to heaven
while she spoke with a joyous earnestness that
affected all beholders towards her to believe
But a whole month was wasted trying to
get the King to go to Rheims. The most he
would do was to authorize an army to invade,
and if possible, win back, from the English the
good towns of the Loire valley so that he might
travel without fear of attack.
He made Joan the Commander-in-Chief of
this expedition and warned all the great cap-
tains of France to do nothing without consult-
ing her and to follow her lead implicitly. Joan
was obliged to content herself though she
knew that her plan was quicker and safer.
The obedience to the King was a holy trait in
92 BLESSED JOAN OP ARC.
Joan's character and goes far to prove the
sanctity of her brave soul.
Not hers to sit in judgment on her sovereign.
He represented Prance, he represented lawful
authority, he was her civil superior. It was
hers to obey him. She might urge or coax him,
she might even represent to him the dangers
and the wrong of the delay; but he was her
rightful sovereign and if he insisted she must
yield. And so she did, generously and grace-
fully. She led her army back to Orleans to
start from there against Jargeau and Meung
and Beaugency and other towns still full of
Prom the letter to his mother of a nobleman
who was of her company at this time we get
this picture of Joan :
" I saw her mount all in white armor but un-
helmeted, a small steel sperth (a little battle-
axe) in her hand. She had a great black horse,
which plunged at the door of her house and
would not permit her to mount. ' Lead him
to the Cross,' she cried, meaning the cross that
stands in the road in front of the church.
There he stood as if cords held him and she
mounted, and turning towards the church gate,
she said in a sweet womanly voice, ' Ye priests
and churchmen, go in procession and pray to
God for us.' Then, ' Porward ! Forward ! ' she
BLESSED JOAN OP ARC. 93
cried aloud, a gracious page bearing her white
standard displayed, and she with the little
sperth in her hand. D'Alencon, Dunois, de
Gaucourt, are all following the Maid. The
King wants to keep Grey with him till the
Maid has cleared the line of the Loire, and
then to ride with him to Rheims."
Joan went back to Orleans, the base of the
Loire campaign, on June 9, to the great joy of
the people — just exactly a month after raising
She, or rather the big men who were the
chiefs of the national forces, mustered an
army of about ten thousand men which the
people of Orleans generously robbed themselves
to equip. Jargeau, a strongly fortified town,
about twelve miles to the east of Orleans, was
their first point of attack.
The people of Orleans filled five sloops,
manned by forty boat men, with heavy guns
and field-pieces, ropes and scaling ladders, and
everything needed to attack fortified walls.
Joan lost not one hour, for she heard that to
Jargeau's garrison of about eight hundred,
Bedford was sending Fastolf from Paris with
five thousand men and supplies to the help of
Joan harangued the army before starting
out : " Success is certain. If I were not as-
94 BLESSED JOAN OP ARC.
sured of this from God, I would rather herd
sheep than put myself in so great jeopardy."
June 11, Joan planted her standard in front
of Jargeau and called on the garrison to yield
themselves peaceably to the Dauphin.
But they heeded not her message.
Next day, June 12, the artillery duel began,
and a great gun sent from Orleans ruined one
of the towers in the wall. Suffolk, the English
commander, begged a truce for a fortnight,
hoping that Fastolf with the reinforcements
would arrive by that time. Joan refused. She
consented to let them all go unarmed and
peaceably out of the town at once. Suffolk re-
fused this and Joan gave the word to sound the
bugles for the assault.
The Duke d'Alencon testified on oath of this
" ' Forward, gentle Duke, to the assault,'
cried Jeanne to me. And when I told her it
was premature to attack so quickly : ' Have no
fear,' she said, ' it is the right time when it
pleases God ; we must work when it is His will;
Act, and God will act! ' Later she said to me:
* Ah ! gentle Duke, art thou afraid? Did I not
promise thy wife to bring thee back safe and
sound ? ' And, indeed when I left my wife to
come with Jeanne to the headquarters of the
army, my wife had feared much for me, for
that I had but just left prison and much had
BLESSED JOAN OF ARC. 95
been spent on my ransom. To which Jeanne
replied ' Lady have no fear; I will give him
back to you whole, or even in better case than
he is now ! ' During the assault on Jargeau,
Jeanne said to me: ' Go back from this place,
or that engine will kill you,' pointing to an en-
gine of war in the city. I retired and shortly
after that very engine killed the Sieur de Lude
who had taken my place. I had great fear and
wondered much at Jeanne's words and how
true they came. Afterwards Jeanne made the
attack and I followed her. As our men were
invading the place, Suffolk made proclamation
that he wished to speak with us, but it was too
late ; we did not listen to him. Jeanne was on
a scaling ladder, her standard in her hand,
when her standard was struck and she herself
hit on the head by a stone which was partly
spent, and which struck her calotte. She was
thrown to the ground, but raising herself she
cried, ' Friend, friends, come on. Come on !
Our Lord hath doomed the English. They are
ours ! Keep a good heart ! '
" At that moment the town was carried and
the English retired to the bridges where the
French pursued them and killed more than
eleven hundred men."
Jargeau was taken. Suffolk, himself was
captured. The Maid and d'Alencon returned
to Orleans that night in triumph.
The next day Joan ordered the troops a com-
plete rest. " To-morrow after dinner I wish
to pay the English at Meung a visit."
96 BLESSED JOAN OF ARC.
Meung was about as far down the river from
Orleans as Jargeau was above. Beaugency was
some miles still further down and occupied also
by the English.
Promptly at noon they marched to Meung
and took it by assault in a few hours, left a
garrison to hold it and marched on to Beau-
gency where the terrible Talbot was.
Here news of Falstof's coming to Talbot's
rescue paled the faces of many of the French
captains. Undaunted Joan placed her bat-
teries. More news came. This time it was
Eichmonte, the Constable of France, who was
coming to her aid. But the Constable had lost
the King's favor through the trickery of La
Tremoille and the other captains would not ac-
cept his aid. Joan proved her statesmanship
as well as her military skill by welcoming
Richmonte's aid and just in time. Falstof's
reinforcement put great courage in Talbot and
a stubborn resistance put the French on their
mettle. So much so that they wanted to fight
that evening whereas the heretofore impetuous
Joan counseled waiting till morning — ^for a
fair light, for the battle must be decisive. So
they waited and lo! the English got away on
the road to Paris that night.
" In God's name, we must fight them at
once," she said early next day. " Even if they
BLESSED JOAN OF ARC. 97
were hanging from the clouds we should have
them, because God has sent us to chastise them.
The gentle King shall have to-day the greatest
victory he has ever had."
And off Joan and the French troops were
after the fleeing English.
At Patay Falstof and Talbot were overtaken
and after three hours hard fighting the two
were taken prisoner and their command lay
dead in heaps among the bushes.
" The praise is to God," said Joan, surveying
the field. " In a thousand years — a thousand
years — the English power in France will not
rise up from this blow."
And this merciful note is added in the de-
positions of an eye-witness:
" Towards the end of the day I came upon
her where the dead and dying lay stretched all
about in heaps and winrows; our men had
mortally wounded an English prisoner who
was too poor to pay a ransom, and from a dis-
tance she had seen that cruel thing done; and
had galloped to the place and sent for a priest
and now she was holding the head of her dying
enemy in her lap and easing him to his death
with comforting soft words, just as his sister
might have done; and the womanly tears run-
ning down her face all the time,"
The march to Rheims — Joan and the King ride in truimph
to the Coronation.
The news of the great slaughter of the Eng-
lish at Patay, and the capture of Talbot and
Suffolk, spread like magic through all the
towns of France; giving new life to the loyal
French in many towns of the English garrison
so that they lost fear of their English masters.
To the English it sounded like a page from the
Once more the white-mailed figure of the
Maid of Orleans on the great black horse, rode
into Orleans, her banner flying and seeming
to tell in its joyous fluttering of this latest and
greatest yet of many victories led by this
hardly four months' old standard.
Many a glorious old battle flag, scarred and
rent and bloodstained, might be jealous of this
fair young pennant, whose glories might count
almost one for every day of its young life.
Orleans fairly went wild when Joan and the
army returned after Meung, Beaugency and
Patay in three short days. It sounded like
Joan o( Arc entering Orleans.
BLESSED JOAN OF ARC. IQI
Caesar's : " I came ! I saw ! I conquered ! " all
over again — only in this case there was no self-
glorification on the part of the conqueror. She
was " the handmaid of the Lord," the " Sword
of God," and to Him alone gave the praise and
the glory. And the grim English Talbot rode
beside Joan through the streets of Orleans a
prisoner of war.
Joan sent to the king to beg him to come
straight on to Orleans. The people wanted to
see him. It was on the way to Eheims. It
would expedite his crowning by saving so
much time. She was most anxious to see him
crowned : " The power of his enemies would
dwindle away to nothing then," she said. But
the King's advisers, chief of whom was La
Tremoille, of hated memory, would not let him
go. He must take no risks, they said. There
were English fortresses at intervals all along
the two hundred miles from Gien to Eheims.
He came to Sully on the Loire, where was La
Tremoile's home, and would go no further.
Joan must needs come to him there.
At Sully and Gien he held councils, without
Joan, and La Tremoille and d'Harcourt and
others advised going to Normandy to recruit
and then clear the country of the English and
Burgundians, ahead of the Dauphin. For ten
days the one who saw the way so clear to the
102 BLESSED JOAN OP ARC.
freedom of France, and who had the commis-
sion to act on it, had to chafe and wait while
blind men sat daily considering whether this
road or that was the least dangerous; whether
it was not better to go to Normandy until the
English got tired out.
The Maid knew as well as any man of them
the strength of the hostile cities on the road.
She had passed through some of them before.
On her way from Domremy she passed safely
through Auxerre with a handful of men, and
if she had wished it, she could have had half
the population to join her. But she had not
the authority and she was not a freebooter.
Only with the authority of her sovereign would
she lead any army anywhere.
But with that authority and even a few men
she felt herself a match for any force. " There
are so many fortified English towns on the
road to Rheims," explained the King's coun-
" I know all that, and make no account of
it," she said. In her impatience to be on the
road to the coronation she left the king and
the council and waited for them outside the
gates of Gien for two days, with the army.
At length, on the 29th of June, they joined
her and the march to Rheims was begun.
With her prophetic eye on Rheims afar off
BLESSED JOAN OF ARC. 103
and knowing that between her and Rheims
were many English or Bnrgundian garrisoned
towns, yet she took no artillery with her.
She received the Body of her Lord that
morning, shedding tears of thankfulness that
so much of her great task was accomplished;
and she made no complaint that king or coun-
cillor still doubted and delayed her. She was
too joyous to remember aught but that they
were on their way to the coronation. Every
one who looked at her caught the reflection of
her bright face, and so it was a happy army
set out for the open country early on that
June 29, 1429, the King and Joan riding side
by side, and behind them all the big men of
France, and behind them again the rank and
file of France's National Guard, twelve thou-
The second day's march across the open
country brought them to the Burgundian-Eng-
lish town of Auxerre. The Maid would have
at once requested its gates opened to the sov-
ereign and the army of France and followed
up the request by force, but she was overruled.
The town sent out a deputation and La Tre-
moille took it upon himself to meet it and
agree to pass by the town without entering.
The Maid's opinion was not asked nor given.
For three days the army rested outside the
104 BLESSED JOAN OF ARC.
gates and were supplied with food by the
people from within.
July 4 they marched away, leaving Auxerre,
half friendly, half hostile, behind them, and
after a steady advance over another thirty, or
nearly forty, miles of sparsely settled country
arrived at Troyes and camped before its gates.
The inspired Joan took the initiative here
at once and summoned Troyes to surrender.
Its commandant, seeing there was no artillery
behind the summons, sent an insulting refusal.
That was Tuesday, the 5th of July. That day
and three days more were lost in Joan's en-
deavoring to persuade the king's councillors
not to turn back.
They were afraid, they said, to go on leaving
so strong an enemy in their rear. Finally, the
King left it to Joan.
" In three days' time the place is ours," she
said in a tone of which no man that heard it
could fail to catch the enthusiasm.
" Oh ! " said the council, " we can wait six
days if you are so sure."
" Three days, did I say? In the name of God,
we will enter the gates to-morrow ! " cried
Then she mounted her black steed and rode
along the lines giving the order : " Make prep-
ation; we assault at dawn."
BLESSED JOAN OF ARC. 105
All that night she had every man working,
and herself worked the hardest, bringing fag-
gots, branches, small trees, everything that
could be lifted and carried and thrown into
the fosse that ran around the walls, to fill it up
so the storming party might stand their
ladders on it. At dawn the people of the
town saw the preparations for storming.
They rushed to the churches and besieged the
Bishop to save them. As the bugles outside
the walls blew the assault, the frightened
burghers had prevailed with the garrison and
a flag of truce was hoisted. Without striking
one blow the town surrendered. Early on Sun-
day morning, July 10, the King and Joan, side
by side, and with banners flying, entered with
the army and received the submission of all
within its gates and heard Mass in the
They were now half-way to Eheims and
the march had been a pleasant one. They
might have rested as long as they liked at
Troyes, but Joan was for the road without de-
lay. Inside the year must her work be done,
she asserted. So the very next day the Grand
March to Eheims, the army grown more joyful
and enthusiastic than ever, was resumed.
Chalons was the next big town to be en-
106 BLESSED JOAN OP ARC.
Chalons, another fifty miles off to the north
and near Eheims. The French army grew in
numbers greatly by voluntary accession to its
ranks at every stopping place. The news of
Troyes' surrender went ahead of the army, so
when Joan and the Dauphin reached the main
gate of Chalons they were met by the Bishop
and the city council with the keys. And the
word was passed on to Eheims quickly that
Chalons was happy in its restored allegiance
to its rightful sovereign and requested a place
for honorable representation at the coming
" Joy, joy ! Freedom to-day ! " was every-
body's song, and every countenance was
radiant all around Joan.
Only she, herself, was gravely serene. She
was not surprised at this bloodless march —
only glad. She met at Chalons a friend from
Domremy. He congratulated her on her series
of triumphant marches. From Vaucouleurs
to Chinon but a few months before. From
Chinon to Orleans. From Orleans to Patay,
and now to Eheims. Evidently she had noth-
ing to fear. " Only treachery and betrayal,"
she answered. From all the signs she gave of
her mission being Heaven-sent, she could not
awaken any generous co-operation in men like
BLESSED JOAN OF ARC. 107
At La Perte, the people came to meet the
army, offering fruits and cakes, and escorted
it in a body several miles on the road. The
Maid was riding with the Archbishop of
Rheims who had joined the party at Chalons,
and was in a happy mood. " This is a good
people," she said, " I have seen none elsewhere
who rejoiced as much at the coming of so noble
a king. How happy should I be if, when my
days are done, I might be buried here!"
" Jeanne," said the Archbishop to her, " in
what place do you hope to die?"
" Where it shall please God," was her saintly
answer. " I am not certain of either the time
or the place, any more than you are yourself.
Would it might please God, my Creator, that
I might retire now, abandon arms and return
to serve my father and mother, and to take care
of their sheep with my sister and my brothers,
who would be so happy to see me again."
On July 16 the army was halted by a deputa-
tion sent from Rheims to meet and conduct
the Dauphin into the city. Joan had told
him long before to " have no fear for Rheims,
the burghers of the city will come out to meet
The Cathedral towers were in view and as
the word passed from rank to rank that they
were at Rheims and that its burghers had
108 BLESSED JOAN OF ARC.
come out to welcome them, the whole army
broke out Into cheers upon cheers, and Joan's
name went up with a mighty shout that was
caught up and carried even into Eheims.
At the Archbishop's Palace the Dauphin and
Joan were lodged and preparations for the
solemn coronation, on the morrow were con-
tinued all through the night.
Rheims had never known so grand a day.
Every one was in holiday costume and holiday
mood, and nothing was spared from public or
private purse to give the town a joyous,
Sunday, July 17, offering of the Holy Sacri-
fice of the Mass began at dawn. Every church
was filled. But the Cathedral was the center
of attraction. At the abbey church of St.
Remi, was kept the " Sainte Ampoule " or flask
of holy oil with which King Clovis, nearly a
thousand years before, and every king of
France after him, had been anointed.
A stately procession of ecclesiastics escorted
by military guards brought the holy oil from
St. Remi to the Cathedral, through streets lined
with the people on their knees who could not
get into the already thronged Cathedral.
The coronation ceremony began at nine
o'clock of the morning of July 17. We have de-
scriptions of it from letters to the Queen of
BLESSED JOAN OF ARC. 109
France and her mother, the Queen of Sicily,
by Pierre de Beauvais and two other gentle-
men of their suite whom they had sent on to be
present and to send them accounts of the
" A right fair thing it was to see that fair
mystery, for it was as solemn and as well
adorned with all things thereto pertaining, as
if it had been ordered a year before." And
then they describe and name the five great men
of France who, on prancing war steeds, ac-
companied the Archbishops bearing the holy
oil into the Cathedral, riding right down the
four hundred feet of its broad nave right
down to the chancel, backing their steeds
out all the way again to the main door.
Then a mighty flood of music from four
hundred silver trumpets announced the en-
trance of the Dauphin. The roll of the organ,
and the chanting of the choir, timed his march
down the long aisle formed by his happy
people. Joan was by his side. Behind him
the chivalry of France in its gayest plumes,
and the dignitaries of the Church from all the
surrounding cities, and all the great generals
and governors in the rich dresses of those
At last the King Iinelt in front of the altar.
He took the oath and was solemnly anointed
110 BLESSED JOAN OP ARC.
with the magnificent ritual of the Church for
The Crown of France was brought to him
on a cushion, and kneeling he took it and
placed it on his head, amidst the breathless
silence of the twenty thousand hearts that
almost stopped for awe of the wonder of it.
Only a moment's awestruck silence — then the
crash of the organ, the blare of the trumpets,
the ringing of the bells broke out all at once
The Te Deum was raised and the cannon out-
side added its deep boom until the over-
wrought people wept for very ecstasy of grate-
Joan wept too — though her face was raised
and she noted not the tears as she embraced
the King's knees and said:
" Gentle King, now is accomplished the Will
of God, Who decreed that I should raise the
siege of Orleans and bring you to this city of
Rheims to receive your solemn sacring, thereby
showing that you are the true king and that
France should be yours. My work which was
given me to do is finished ; give me your peace
and let me go back to my mother, who is poor
and old, and has need of me."
The King raised her up and before all that
host of people acknowledged his immense debt
Joan of Arc at the Crowning of the King at Rheims.
BLESSED JOAN OF ARC. 113
to her and begged her to name what should be
her recompense. He had previously confirmed
titles of nobility on her and her family.
" You have saved France. Speak ! What-
ever grace you ask shall be granted you, though
it make the kingdom poor to meet it."
And that wonder of the world, that con-
queror of whole armies and leader of other
armies, into whose hands at a word, fell for-
tresses and cities, whose march across France
had been like a tornado to her foes, like a sum-
mer's sun and rain to her famishing friends,
the noblest woman ever born save one, thought
of her humble childhood's home and asked
simply that its yearly taxes be remitted. Only
this would she accept.
" She has won a kingdom and crowned its
king," said Charles, after a pause ; " and all
she asks is this poor grace, and this not for
herself, but for others. Her act is in propor-
tion to the dignity of one who carries in her
heart and head riches which outvalue any that
any king could add, though he gave his all.
She shall have her way. It is decreed from
this day forth Domremy, natal village of Joan
of Arc, Deliverer of France, called the Maid
of Orleans, is freed from taxation forever."
At two o'clock the coronation services were
over, and Joan and the King of France sol-
114 BLESSED JOAN OF ARC.
emnly marclied down the long nave together.
Joan's work was ended. The siege of Or-
leans had been raised (May 8) ; the power of
the English in France had been broken for-
ever at Patay (June 18), and now the king
was crowned with the authority and ceremo-
nies and crown of Clovis, Pepin, Charlemagne
and St. Louis.
She sat up that night and talked of home
and mother with her father and the brother
of her mother, the old uncle Laxart, who had
been the one to first listen to the story of her
mission and lend his countenance and help
to its first step. Now he would escort her
home again to her mother and her spinning.
"Now let me go back to my poor old mother who haa
need of me. The King detains Joan as head of his
God can do all things and nothing is hard
or impossible to Him.
And so His accredited and empowered
agent, the little maid from the woods of
Lorraine, made no wonder of the series of
lightning-like victories that in four months
changed France from a prostrate people at
the feet of England, disheartened and dis-
couraged beyond hope, getting ready to yield
to the inevitable and become a province of
England, to a new and buoyant nation, once
again, with hands and face uplifted in joyous
gratitude to the God of nations who sent them
so unexpected deliverance.
With the crowning of the King at Rheims,
on June 17, 1429, Joan of Arc's unique mission
was also crowned in triumph and her heaven-
appointed task finished.
To be sure, the English still held Paris, the
French capital, but that was only a matter of
another day's effort. To-morrow the French
116 BLESSED JOAN OF ARC.
army would march on Paris and take it with-
out fail for their king, its rightful occupant.
That was the well-understood plan all
around. Outlined by Joan, accepted by the
king, and looked forward to eagerly by the
army, whose banner and lances were already
weighted with more victories than they could
keep proper count of, and no losses at all.
Even the English expected to lose Paris
immediately, unless something desperate was
done to hold it. The Duke of Bedford sent a
frantic message to England on June 16th for
more men and arms. He said :
" The Dauphin has taken the field ! He will
be crowned on the 17th! And he will march
to take Paris on the 18th ! ! '. "
Bedford hastily drew from the surrounding
districts and from Normandy all the troops
that could be spared to concentrate in Paris.
At the same time he renewed and strengthened
his alliance with the French Duke of Bur-
gundy, and had him send a messenger to
Eheims asking the newly crowned king to
delay the march on Paris for a fortnight, on
the pretense that he would try to arrange its
delivery to Charles without fighting.
It was a brazen piece of treachery, because
he and Bedford wanted just that fortnight to
get reinforcements from England.
BLESSED JOAN OF ARC. 117
Burgundy's messenger arrived at Rheims
the very day of the coronation and had no
great trouble in persuading the king and his
council to grant the delay.
When he was gone they began to weigh mat-
ters. They would have to go on some kind of
a warpath to keep up appearances and let the
people see something was being done. They
had let Joan believe they would go to Paris
at once. Now they were not going — at least,
not just yet.
What could Joan say? Well, she was no
longer commander-in-chief. She was going
back to Domremy and it was really none of her
business. They made the bargain with Bur-
gundy without her advice and they must keep
it. She did not matter now.
Ah ! but she did matter ! Before the troubled
eyes of some of those war chiefs rose the
vision of that slender white mailed figure and
her shining banner, that was for them light
and strength, and day after day, turned defeat
into victory. They knew in their hearts there
had been no winning except in the wake of
that banner. They knew that all their valor
and military skill counted less than the mere
sight to the army of that inspired child ; that
her voice was more potent at St. Loup, St.
Jean le Blanc, the Augustins, the Tourelles,
118 BLESSED JOAN OF ARC.
Meung, Beaugency, Patay, Jargeau, Troyes,
Rheims, and twenty other meetings with the
foe, than had been their loudest cannon. How
could they head an army without her! At
least, just yet. Their only knowledge of vic-
tory — those old soldiers had to say it — was
when her stainless sword pointed the way.
No! They could not spare her now. They
might have their councils without her. But
they must have her in front of their war
So Joan, talking to her father and her uncle
Laxart, about to-morrow's glad trip home to
her mother was interrupted to hear that the
King wanted her. An escort of nobles was at
the door to conduct her to the king, who was
in council. She bade good-night to her father
and uncle and promised to meet them early
in the morning, and went at the summons of
She found him and his council in session.
They rose at her entrance, for though they put
the slight on her of time and again holding
meetings without her, yet in her presence,
humble and gentle though she was, they felt
they were in the presence of a superior. They
might not have said as much even to them-
selves, but her holiness and her heroism awed
BLESSED JOAN OP ARC. 119
them into a deference shown only to the king
" What is this ? " she said on entering ; " a
council of war? When there is only one thing
to do, there is no need of counsel. There is
only one thing to do. To-morrow march on
Paris ! It is yours for the asking. Surely you
are not going to delay for even one day. The
Duke of Bedford must not have even one day's
chance to reinforce."
There were fine men as well as mean men in
that council, and the records of that day tell
us that their faces lit up at Joan's words,
while the angry looks of the others revealed
to Joan that there was some conspiracy afoot.
She appealed by a look and a gesture to the
King. He told her of their decision, that she
must for the present stay with the army as
commander-in-chief. He put it as a command
Joan's face fell and for a space she spoke no
word. She was lost in thought or in prayer.
At last she broke out in a questioning tone:
"And march to Paris to-morrow?" The
king looked at La Tremoille. La Tremoille
looked down, pale but silent. Joan looked
beseechingly from one to the other, then at the
chancellor, whose most persuasive voice
vouched the explanation:
120 • BLESSED JOAN OF ARC.
" Would it be courteous, your Excellency, to
move so abruptly from here without waiting
for a word from the Duke of Burgundy ? You
may not be aware that we are negotiating with
his Highness and there is likely to be a fort-
night's truce — on his part a pledge to deliver
Paris to the king without cost to us of a fight
or the fatigue of a march thither."
Poor Joan of Arc ! Hero of so many glorious
fights for France! It was her turn to quiver
and grow pale. She stared dumbly at the
speaker and then said slowly in a half whisper:
"Treachery and cowardice!"
The king's minister and the chancellor rose
to their feet at the words, but the king mo-
tioned for silence. She went on still quietly
and slowly, as if dictating a letter:
" We took Orleans on the 8th of May, and
could have cleared the country round it in
three days and saved the slaughter of Patay.
We could have been in Eheims six weeks ago,
and in Paris now, and see the last Englishman
leave France before the year is out. But we
struck no blow after Orleans — we counseled
and counseled, instead of fighting, and gave
Bedford time to reinforce Talbot and so had to
fight the strengthened English at Patay. So
at Chinon, so at Gien, councils of war sapping
our time and giving strength to our enemies.
BLESSED JOAN OF ARC. 121
Now again we are counseling instead of march-
ing immediately on Paris. O my king, speak
the word. Bid me march on Paris to-night."
The chancellor saw the king's eye light. He
hurried to interpose : " March on Paris ! The
road bristles with English strongholds."
Joan snapped her finger :
" That ! for your English strongholds," she
said. " English strongholds bristled in our
way before. Where are they now? They
are French strongholds, and they cost us no
time, little trouble and less blood. That was
the talk before we came to Rheims. We met
the English strongholds and they were ours
for the asking. We left a line of French for-
tresses behind us on all our marches. Eouse,
gentle king, Paris calls you. You have but to
show your face before its gate and it is yours.
I promise it to you. I who promised you Or-
leans and Eheims and kept my promises.
Will you not listen to me now ? "
" It is madness, sire," said La Tremoille,
" we must treat first with the Duke of Bur-
"We shall treat with Burgundy," said Joan,
and as all eyes turned on her in surprise, she
added : " — at the point of the lance ! "
And the spirit that emanated from her so
often when she cried " to the assault ! " seemed;
122 BLESSED JOAN OF ARC.
to flood the room now and catch the king in
its wave. He handed his sword to Joan, " You
have won," said he, " carry it to Paris."
Joan waited for no more. She flew to her
own quarters, calling on La Hire from the
door of the council chamber to summon the
generals to meet her in an hour. It was then
midnight. The excitement of the last days
surely warranted her to seek some rest. But
France called, and there was no rest for Joan
while France's interest was even in remote
'danger. She dictated a letter at once, and sent
it at once, to the Duke of Burgundy. <
She informed him of the coronation of his
lawful sovereign and reminded him of his
duty as a Frenchman to send in his allegiance
without delay. It was his wisest course be-
side, she said, for nothing on earth could now
prevent Charles VII from winning Paris and
every town in France from the English. With
the English she wished to make no peace.
They must leave France. God willed they
should not be left in France. As for himself,
if the great Duke of Burgundy wanted fight let
him join with his king, and let them both go
together and rescue the Holy Land from the
That was the message that the deliverer of
France sent to her recalcitrant countryman,
the Duke of Burgundy.
BLESSED JOAN OP ARC. 123
As it proved, he was not equal to the Maid's
magnificent program. Instead he lent him-
self to the duplicity and doomed fortunes of
the English invaders of his country.
Then she saw the generals, gave her com-
mands, sent a last message to the dear old
father and imcle.
At dawn the vanguard moved out of Rheims
and faced Paris with bands braying and ban-
ners flying. The second division followed a
few hours later. Joan's impatence would not
wait for them.
But they all met the ambassadors of Bur-
On June 18, Joan of Arc and the vanguard
of the French army left Rheims to take Paris
from the English.
It was September 8 — the Feast of the
Nativity of the Blessed Virgin — before the at-
tack on Paris was begun.
Nearly three months trying to do what
Joan had expected to do in three days. It
would be a long and thankless task to record
the doings of the army during those three
Joan's constant urging to go forward, the
just as cons-tant urging of the king's ministers
to be in no hurry.
Hoping to win over the Duke of Burgundy
124 BLESSED JOAN OP ARC.
from the English alliance, the king did not
want to reach Paris but to give plenty of time
to Burgundy to give it up of himself.
Wishing to please Joan the army must be
kept going with its face some of the time at
least towards Paris. So it was one step for-
ward and two sideways and back, every day.
Meanwhile there was a score of small towns
on the way mastered by the English that had
to be taken. These towns lay in their round-
about march to Paris in the valleys of the
Seine, the Oise, the Marne and the Yonne, as
they flowed into each other in the race to the
sea. Marconi, Soissons, Laon, Compiegne,
Chateau Thierry, Senlis, Beauvais and a half-
dozen other cities, handed over their keys wil-
lingly enough to their sovereign and to the
Maid. But the bloodless capture of these
towns did not require a day each, so that fully
sixty days were spent killing time, giving Bur-
gundy and Bedford every chance to concen-
trate at Paris.
The towns they took were sad losses to the
English and permanent gain to the French, es-
pecially Compiegne, which like Orleans, was
a fortified key to a whole territory. D'Alencon
wrote from Compiegne:
" The Maid is in sorrow for the king's long
BLESSED JOAN OF ARC. 125
tarrying at Compiegne. It seems he is con-
tent, in his usual way, with the grace that
God has done him and will make no further
The Maid wrote a letter to Rheims dated,
" On the road to Paris, August 5 " :
" Dear and good friends and loyal French-
men, the Maid sends you news. It is true the
king has made a fifteen days' truce with the
Duke of Burgundy who is to give up to him
the town of Paris peacefully on the fifteenth
day. Although the treaty is made I am not
content; and am not certain that I will keep
it. If I do, it will be merely for the sake of
the king's honor, and in any case I will keep
the king's army together and in readiness, at
the end of the fifteen days, if peace is not
But Joan could not save the king against
his will, nor would she raise her standard
without his authority. The English army was
also in the field in the same time-killing way.
There in the neighborhood of Paris, in the
valleys formed by the Oise, and the Seine and
the Yonne and the Marne, the two armies
skirmished around all summer, sometimes
facing each other, for a day, without coming
126 BLESSED JOAN OF ARC.
to blows. Bedford wrote a challenge to
Charles, addressing him, " You who were wont
to style yourself the Dauphin, and now call
Just like an Englishman, he laid all the
blame of the wars in France, and all the con-
sequent wretchedness of the French people,
on the head of Charles. In pious frenzy he
accuses him of insulting Almighty God by
marching in the protection of a woman
dressed like a man, and of beggarly friars.
He challenged him to come out in the open and
fight men, not women nor monks. But all this
was to gain time.
The English could not be induced to come
out of their earthworks. The Maid and
D'Alencon were always trying to get the En-
glish to come out, and skirmishes forced by
her were of daily occurrence.
At last the weary marching and more weary
waiting to march, the secret treaties and the
open insults, the skirmishes and retreats, and
saucy challenges that brought no result, came
to an end before the gates of Paris on Sep-
Joan ordered the bugles at noon to sound
the assault before the gate of St. Honore.
The assault was made with all the vim that
characterized Joan's previous work. The gate
BLESSED JOAN OF ARC. 127
was almost won, and with it Paris would be
won, when Joan was struck by a crossbolt and
Badly wounded as she was she refused to
retire. " I will take Paris now or die," she
D'Alencon carried her oflf by force, she cry-
ing out : " I will be here in the morning early,
and in half an hour we will take Paris."
In the morning the king forbade the attempt
on Paris. He had a new embassy from the
Duke of Burgundy.
Bedford had taken his own troops out of the
city and left it to Burgundy's defense, and
Burgundy and the king juggled and quibbled
and perpetrated some curious specimens of
give-and-take treaties, which after some play at
words and swords, ended by the king taking
himself and his army off to the Loire again
and leaving Burgundy to think it over safely
It was a most inexplicable arrangement.
Joan was broken-hearted. But as became
a saint she had no word of reproach for the
king. She knew his bad advisers were to
blame. It was of little use to blame them.
They did not care for her blame. She also
knew in her heart of hearts that though the
freedom of France was delayed it was sure in
128 BLESSED JOAN OF ARC.
the end, and if the good God in Heaven could
be patient with these men, surely she must be
So she hung her shining armor in the Cathe-
dral of St. Denis, the ancient burial place of
the kings of Prance, and went to the king once
more, begging him to let her go back to her
former humble, quiet life.
But the king refused to let her go. There
were still many towns to recover and to keep.
France needed her. And more than all, her
" Remain at St. Denis."
They did not say why. But they were to
(her God's command. She would stay. But
jeven in this La Tremoille, through the king,
crossed and balked her. Wounded and help-
less, she was carried off with the army all the
way back to Gien, beyond Orleans. Here the
king disbanded the army. For the present,
there was no more fighting to do. Burgundy
held Paris for the English and the king had
promised not to molest him — at least for the
And yet nothing could save the situation
for the doomed English. Bedfor(i wrote home
to the king of England :
" All things prospered with us till the great
BLESSED JOAN OF ARC. 129
stroke at Orleans. After that divers of your
great cities and towns: Rheims, Troyes, Cha-
lons, Laon, Sens, Provins, Senlis, Lagny, Creil,
Beauvais and the substance of the counties of
Champagne, Beauce, and a part of Picardy,
yielded to Charles VII without resistance or
And he, the Duke of Bedford, in this letter
to the English, blames the great losses of the
English to the presence in the French army of
a young woman, who for four months inspired
the army with a most incredible enthusiasm.
He begged that the king of England come over
himself and be crowned in France, for France,
and to bring men and money as much as pos-
sible. Bedford went himself to England to
press personally his appeal for help.
This was late in September. All October
and November was spent by the Maid in clear-
ing up the country about the Loire. With a
small force she appeared before one town
after another that had not yet given in their
allegiance. Sometimes her simple demand was
enough; sometimes, as at La Charite, things
went ill and the duty of the people to their
sovereign had to be sent home with the point
of the lance. But for the most part Joan's
commission as commander-in-chief of the wars
was an empty title.
130 BLESSED JOAN OF ARC.
The truce with Burgundy was to last till
Easter of 1430. Meanwhile Joan spent a large
part of the time visiting the places she had
won from the English. At Rheims and Or-
leans she was received by the people in her true
character — a messenger of God.
In Easter week (April 17-23) she was in
Melun with her handful of lancers. For ten
years Melun had had an English garrison.
At Joan's word the townsfolk rose, ejected the
garrison, and threw open the bridge over the
Seine, which meant the freedom of the town
to Joan's army.
As she stood on the ramparts of the bridge,
reviewing the scene, thanking God for a good
day's work easily done, her Voices, silent for
some time, came to her with a warning that
before St. John's day she should be captured
They bade her be of good heart for they
would be her help.
That very day the young king of England,
Henry VI, landed at Calais with an army, and
the Anglo-Burgundian forces encamped at
Compiegne, like Orleans, a strategic point
commanding the road to Paris from the north.
On May 6 the French king, his eyes opened
at last, wrote to Rheims that the Duke of Bur-
BLESSED JOAN OF ARC. 131
" Has never had, and now has not, any in-
tention of coming to terms of peace, but
always has favored our enemies."
Joan heard of the concentration of the en-
emy at Compiegne. At midnight she started
with a band of about four hundred, and en-
tered Compiegne about sunrise.
She heard Mass, then told her troopers to
rest. All day she consulted with the garrison
and made her plans.
In the meadow on the other side of the
bridge leading over the river into the town
was the advance guard of the besiegers, an
isolated outpost. Up and down the river were
other English camps.
About five o'clock she got her men together
and in the evening the Maid gave the word,
and a sudden sally was made on the nearest
outpost while its men were unarmed. It was
soon put out of commission and its occupants
scattered. Joan and her lancers were retreat-
ing again into the town, when Jean de Luxem-
burg, of Burgundy's camp, happened to be
riding by with a small force. He saw the
sortie, and he dashed up to prevent Joan's
return over the bridge to Compiegne. Twice
she forced him ofif and called to her men to
back into the town. She like a valiant leader
132 BLESSED JOAN OF ARC.
riding in the rear. Now all her men were in
the gates; only a few of those nearest her—
d'Aulon, her brothers, and a few more. The
English and Burgundians swarmed from other
outposts. They got between her and the draw-
bridge. They drew nearer and nearer, around
her, and at last an archer reaching out seized
her cape and dragged her from her horse.
She was borne in triumph to the camp of
the Burgundians as the prize of Jean de Lux-
emburg — she and the men with her — the whole
English and Burgundian camp roaring with
That was on the 24th of May, 1430. Joan
of Arc was a prisoner.
France is free — Joan a prisoner of tlie English King.
Joan of Aec fell into the hands of her
enemies on May 24, 1430. It was just a year
since she sent her first message to the English
from the Gate of Orleans, begging them, in
God's name, to take themselves out of France,
to their own country, or they would come to
great hurt. They had answered that message
with jeers, and promised, when they caught
her, they would burn her alive.
During that year she had taken from them
their gains of a hundred years. At the head
of a much smaller army than theirs she had
driven them out of one town after another,
up and down the banks of the Loire, and in the
broad valleys of the Seine, between Orleans
and Rheims; and from Rheims westward and
north, their many garrisoned gates were open
to her almost at her simple word and to the
handful of French soldiers that followed her,
and the allegiance of the towns made secure
134 BLESSED JOAN OP ARC.
Through very fear of her white banner in
the vanguard of the approaching French, the
English soldiers had deserted in such numbers
that it became impossible to follow them up.
The traditional fear of the French at the sight
of an English soldier, was changed to a state
of panic among the English soldiers at the
mere sight of the white figure on horseback
in the van of a few French troopers.
The whole face of France, nay, the heart
and soul of France as well, were newly risen
to a strong, proud national life, in which Eng-
land would nevermore have part.
Paris and Rouen and a few other towns
which they still held, she warned them would
soon be taken from them likewise, and not an
Englishman left in all France, where the Eng-
lish had ruled and ruined for three genera-
There was no accounting for this extraor-
dinary change, as sudden as it was thorough,
except by the presence of this inspired and
inspiring girl, who claimed to be sent from
God to do just this work. " For this was I
But now they had this warrior maid, this
light and life of the French army in their own
hands, under lock and key.
She was theirs to do as they liked with.
BLESSED JOAN OF ARC. 135
And thei'eupon rose up a great ado. What
should they do with her?
De Luxemburg, who had pulled her off her
horse, carried her in triumph to his quarters
in the camp, the whole Anglo-Burgundian
army following at his heels roaring for joy.
She was the center of a mad whirl of men
anxious to get sight of her who had been the
nightmare of their dreams for the past year.
And humble, gentle Joan looked at them more
in pity than in fear, for they were largely
Frenchmen who had sold themselves to the
service of the conqueror, but whom she knew
would make good French subjects yet.
The Duke of Burgundy hastened to see the
distinguished captive. He gazed dazedly at
her for some time as if trying to pierce the
secret of her great power. To his sneers and
taunts and insolent questions she answered
with a simple dignity and truth, common to
brave hearts, and which the soldier-courtier
could never emulate. When he asked was she
not afraid of his vengeance, she told him
calmly that nothing could happen to her but
by the will of God, to which she bowed joy-
fully. All the more joyfully because she was
assured that no matter what befell her now,
the complete freedom of France was the matter
of a few years at longest, and that no power
136 BLESSED JOAN OF ARC.
on earth could help the English to hold France
now. Her people would rise again to great
In turn she bade him tremble for himself
unless he returned to his lawful allegiance and
became a good Frenchman.
All of which was lost for the time on Bur-
gundy. He liked to think the English would
soon lose their hold on France, but he thought
himself a better man than Charles VII, to hold
the reins and govern France in place of the
Burgundy and Luxemburg sent joyous
despatches, hither and thither, telling of the
capture of the Maid of Orleans. The Duke
of Bedford seemed crazy with joy when he
heard it in Paris. He immediately sent word
to Burgundy that the captive was the prop-
erty of the King of England, in whose pay
Luxemburg was. She was prisoner of war to
Henry VI. " I must have the ransom of a
prince for her," said Luxemburg.
By the military usage of the time ten thou-
sand livres of gold — over sixty thousand francs
— was the ransom price for a prince of the
blood royal. If offered for Joan it could not be
After three or four days Luxemburg re-
moved Joan to a safer place in his strong
BLESSED JOAN OF ARC. 137
castle at Beaulieu, while he went on with the
siege of Compiegne.
D'Aulon who was captured with the Maid
was allowed to remain with her at Beaulieu.
D'Aulon told afterwards at the trial, that
when they found themselves thus removed
from sight and news of Compiegne, he said
to Joan :
" That poor town of Compiegne, which you
have loved so dearly, will now be placed in
the hands of the enemies of France."
" It shall not be," answered Joan, " for no
places which the King of Heaven has put in
the hands of the gentle King Charles by my
aid, shall be retaken by his enemies, while he
does his best to keep them."
All through June and July Joan was kept
at Beaulieu while her friends and her enemies
were deciding what to do about her.
The Archbishop of Embrun wrote to
Charles VII :
" For the recovery of this girl and for the
ransom of her life, I bid you spare neither
means nor money, unless you would incur the
indelible shame of most disgraceful ingrati-
But Charles did not, probably could not, do
138 BLESSED JOAN OF ARC.
anything to rescue her. He bowed to the will
of God, too, likely thinking one so miracu-
lous could help herself out of this difficulty as
she had helped him and the army out of worse,
Besides he was not an autocrat, and the
same power that prevented him marching
straight to Paris the day after his coronation,
and taking it as the Maid urged him to do,
prevented him now offering any ransom for his
hitherto invincible commander-in-chief.
She was a prisoner of war and as such was
safe for the present even in the hands of the
In Rheims, Troyes, and many other cities
that had known her inspired presence, the
people gathered for public prayers for her
restoration, and patriotic priests went among
the people to collect money for her ransom.
But the People had been brought to such
poverty by the long cruel wars, there had been
for so long a time no national government and
no coinage of money, that there was little
money among the people to collect.
Two months passed and no ransom was of-
fered from any quarter, or, if offered, was not
The Duke of Bedford and his advisers were
not certain what to do. As a political prisoner
BLESSED JOAN OF ARC. 139
they dare not do away with her violently.
Even if the French King did not resent it, the
very act would make her a hero more than ever
and would fire the French heart to even
greater deeds of valor than her Mving presence
inspired. No ! she must be brought down from
her high esteem in the minds of the French
Bedford got the Vicar General of the In-
quisition to demand Joan from Burgundy to
be tried as a heretic.
The University of Paris, too, was induced
to ask for her trial as an offender against the
Both the University of Paris and the oflScers
of the Inquisition in France were overruled
by the English. For fifty years the Duke of
Bedford and the King of England had named
the heads of both institutions.
But Burgundy hesitated to give her up.
Meanwhile Joan one day saw her door left
open and the key left in the lock. She walked
out unhesitatingly, turned the key in the lock,
locking in her jailer, and fled. But she was
seen and brought back.
The effect of this was her removal to Beau-
revoir, to a strong castle with a tower sixty
feet high. Her confinement here was com-
paratively pleasant. She had the friendly
140 BLESSED JOAN OF. ARC.
companionship of de Luxemburg's good old
aunt, his wife and daughter. She heard Mass
every day, confessed and received Holy Com-
munion and recovered her health and strength,
and, -for a time, her peace of mind. But here
she was told one day that Compiegne was still
in a state of siege, and was likely to be cap-
tured, and, if captured, every man, woman
and child would be put to death, in revenge
for so long and so stubborn a resistance.
It was an exaggerated report but it flred
Joan's heart with a desire to help her country-
men, and she, who had heard unmoved the
slanders and threats of the English against
herself, personally, could not bear to think of
so good a people so slaughtered. In her agony,
and, as she told afterwards, at the trial,
against the advice of her heavenly councillors,
she tried to escape from the tower. She was
found bruised and unconscious, at the foot of
the tower and for three days was like one
dead. But to the astonishment of her jailers
she was not seriously hurt. She would rather
have died, she said, than hear of the massacre
of her people; and would rather have died
than fallen into the hands of the English.
At her trial, later, when she was questioned
about this incident and if she did not think
it wrong to wish to die, she denied the attempt
BLESSED JOAN OF ARC. 141
was made with any such wish. Her hope was
to escape. But her heavenly guides told her
afterwards she must confess and ask God's
pardon for that, and that she must be content
to stay as she was, until she would see the
little King of England — " and indeed I have
no wish to see him," she pathetically added.
Her recovery was aided very much by the
news that Compiegne was saved to the French.
The skill of its captain, de Flavy, and the fine
courage and endurance of its poor people were
The Duke of Burgundy and de Luxemburg
had to take their forces off. The consequent
expense and losses made them more than ever
willing to sell Joan to the English, for they
needed the money.
Joan grew fond of the good, kindly French-
women at Beaurevoir, Jean de Luxemburg's
wife and daughter and his old aunt who, ac-
cording to Joan's testimony, " begged Jean de
Luxemburg not to hand me over to the Eng-
lish." These ladies treated Joan with every
kindness possible, but to their entreaties to
her to abandon the male costume in which she
was captured, she always replied, " it is not yet
time." Her dress as a soldier, was a symbol
of her mission, and not in her enemies sight
would she renounec either.
142 BLESSED JOAN OP ARC.
She said afterwards in her trial :
" I would have changed my fashion of dress,
if it had been within my duty, at the request
of these ladies, rather than for any soul in
France, except my Queen."
Five months of suffering and anxiety passed
over Joan in prison while her enemies were
making up their minds how to compass her
death under semblance of legal execution. She
was no rebel. To put her to death for op-
posing English supremacy would only make
a hero of her, and fire the French to complete
her work of clearing out the enemy. No, her
memory must be made execrable. And they
conceived the plan of convicting her by an
ecclesiastical court, of crimes against the
That would save England from execration
and cover Joan's name and that of Charles
VII, as her accomplice, with the most dreaded
kind of infamy.
A ready tool for this wicked scheme was
found in Pierre Cauchon, Bishop of Beauvais.
When Joan and the King took Beauvais in the
memorable days after the coronation, the
Bishop refused to change his allegiance from
the English to the French King, and preferred
to fly to Paris to the Duke of Bedford's pro-
BLESSED JOAN OF ARC. 143
Bedford now sent this Cauchon to the Bur-
gundian camp to claim Joan in the name of
the English King, Henry VI. He paid the
10,000 livres gold demanded for her, though
Bedford could have really taken her without
the ransom seeing that Luxemburg was in his
pay and thus of his own side in the war. Cau-
chon not only was the medium of transfer of
the heroine to the English, but he claimed the
right to try her on the ground that she was
captured in his diocese.
Cauchon brought his victim to Rouen. It
was the heart of the English power. It was
the residence of the Regent Bedford. Its in-
habitants had almost forgotten they were
French, so long were they in English power.
It was a strongly garrisoned town. So to
Rouen Joan was brought just after Christmas,
and flung into prison strongly chained and
with two Englishmen, John Gray and William
Talbot, to stay in her cell night and day for
As a suspected heretic she was to be al-
lowed no Mass, no confession, no sacraments,
no friendly face, no woman near her day or
night to give her help or sympathy.
Yet even her jailers testify she never lost
her gentle iignity, never cried nor complained.
She was but a few days in irons when the
144 BLESSED JOAN OF ARC.
shameless de Luxemburg came to her prison
with two English Earls, Warwick and Staf-
ford, with a proposal to set her free if she
would promise not to fight the English army
" You but mock me," she answered. " I
know that you have neither the power nor the
will to set me free. I know that the English
are going to kill me, for they think that when
I am dead they can get the Kingdom of
France. It is not so. Though there were a
hundred thousand of them they will never get
It is told that Lord Stafford got so furious
at her quiet defiance, he drew his dagger and
would have struck her but for Warwick.
Warwick saved her life another time when
some English soldiers of Rouen proposed to
sew her up in a bag and drown her to be sure
of her death. Warwick quieted them with a
promise that they should see her die, and
soon, to be sure enough of it.
Meanwhile, Cauchon, as chief prosecutor,
was preparing for the trial of Joan. In his
desire to compass her ruin he and his aids
blindly piled illegality upon illegality.
In the first place they claimed her as a
prisoner of the church. As such she should
have been in an ecclesiastical prison, un-
BLESSED JOAN OF ARC. I45
chained and courteously treated and with ac-
cess to the sacraments and with women about
This she repeatedly begged for but without
Her jailers would tell her if she would give
her promise not to try to escape she would
not be chained, hands and feet. But her
courage and her adherence to the cause for
which she suffered forbade her giving her
word of honor in that way. She held it her
right to try to escape and she would not say
that she would not if she could.
On January 3d, 1431, Henry VI, oflScially
handed Joan over to the " Ecclesiastical "
court gathered together by the traitorous
Bishop of Beauvais. Henry's document pro-
" It is our intention to repossess ourselves
of her, if she be not convicted of High Treason
She was now as it were in the hands of the
church. But the Earl of Warwick was her
jailer. It was in his castle at Rouen she was
imprisoned. She should be in a churchman's
guard. As a minor she should have had coun-
sel, and she asked for it but Cauchon would
not even answer her, and, " for fear of the Eng-
lish " nobody interfered for her.
146 BLESSED JOAN OP ARC.
The trial was appointed to be held in the
castle, though it was pointed out to Cauchon
that it should be held in open court to secure
fairness on both sides. Cauchon paid no at-
tention to that either.
There was a great trouble at the very be-
ginning of the preliminaries of the trial.
Cauchon had picked his jury. There were
fully fifty distinguished lawyers and clerics
picked from here and there because of their
known antagonism to the French Cause,
Frenchmen — French priests they were, but in
their sympathies and interests, English.
The recorders were two decent men, Man-
chon and Colles, secretly friendly to the Maid,
and luckily honest men, who recorded only
what was said and done, and so were in con-
stant trouble with Cauchon who found fault
with their records.
Doctors of the University, Abbots of Nor-
mandy, Canons of Rouen, were among the as-
sessors who were to find the Maid guilty of
treason to the Faith, but they were all chosen
because of their political bias to the English,
and afraid of their lives to say a word that
Warwick or Bedford would not like. Besides,
they probably had not the grace of God to see
that Joan was inspired by heaven for the
rescue of her country. Content with English
domination, because it promised personal
BLESSED JOAN OF ARC. 147
advantage to themselves, these interested
guardians of the faith, saw nothing holy or
heavenly in the Maid, and their hearts were
hardened and their eyes blinded to any claim
for pity or justice on her part.
When Joan found that the court to try her
was made up of churchmen in the interests of
the English, she begged that an equal number
of priests of the French party be added. Of
course there was no heed to her request. Nor
did she expect there would be, but she was a
brave girl and would not knowingly fail to
assert her right, useless though she knew it to
She also pleaded for counsel, as she was so
young and inexperienced in law and theology.
But no, she must do the best she could alone,
and further, no friend of her cause was to be
called as a witness. She was to be sole wit-
ness for defense and prosecution.
When Cauchon was ready to go on with the
trial Jean de Lohier, representing the Inquisi-
tion was to be one of the chief judges. Lohier
came to Rouen from Paris and carefully ex-
amined beforehand the process. He said
promptly and bravely that:
" In his view Jeanne could not be proceeded
against in matters of faith except on evidence
proving that there was a 'fama', popular
148 BLESSED JOAN OF ARC.
report, against her; the production of such
information was legally necessary."
Lohier asked for three days to consider the
documents, and then declared that the mode
of trial was not valid. The manner of trial
was not valid : first, because it was held in a
castle where men were not at liberty to give
their full and free opinions; secondly, because
the honor of the King of France was im-
peached; he was a party in the suit and yet
was not represented; thirdly, the accusation
had not been given to the Maid that she might
prepare her answer, neither had she counsel to
answer for her, and she was a simple girl to
be tried in matters of deep faith.
To the Chief Registrar, Manchon, Lohier
" It seems to me there is more hate than
desire of justice in this action; and for this
reason I will not stay here, for I do not wish
to be in it."
And he left Rouen and Paris and went to
Rome for safety.
Cauchon decided to go on without him.
Another of the judges, Nicoles de Houppe-
ville, said the whole procedure was invalid
since the accused had been tried for the same
causQ a year before by the Superior Court of
the Archbishop of Rheims and acquitted. Oau-
BLESSED JOAN OF ARC. 149
chon replied that the Archbishop of Rheims
made a mistake that time at Poitiers, and had
not since recognized the Maid as orthodox,
and he put De Houppeville in prison for his
In the getting together of the evidence Cau-
chon employed a spy, Pere Loyseleur, to go to
Joan's cell, and introducing himself as a sym-
pathizing fellow-countryman from Lorraine,
drew her out and tried to get confession from
her of deceit in the matter of the Voices, while
Cauchon had his ear to a place so formed as to
catch every whisper. They got nothing for
their pains, for Joan had nothing to tell of
deceit on her part or her Voices.
On January 13 all the evidence was exam-
ined by the " Board ", and such as was useful
fixed up for use and other parts rejected. By
January 19, there was a plausible array of
accusations put together in a " Preliminary
Instruction ", a sort of cut-and-dried affair,
in which the Maid was made to confess all
that Cauchon wanted. The whole Process
was a jumble of illegalities and hypocrisies
and foul insinuations and attempts to trap
Gross however as the injustice was, there
were certain barriers within which even Cau-
chon and his accomplices had to work their
150 BLESSED JOAN OF ARC.
wicked wills. As there were fearless Canon-
ists like Lohier, who, as members of a great
International Bar, were independent of any
king or court, so the notaries being apostolic
and imperial officers, were in no way amenable
to Cauchon or his crew. We have luckily
their faithful records of the trial — one of the
most appalling dramas in all history.
The lamb in the midst of the wolves. The mock trial.
How shall one write of the trial of Joan of
Arc! The cruel, illegal mockery of justice,
called the trial of Joan of Arc ! How describe
the savior of France, the embodiment of patri-
otism and purity, the child leader of victori-
ous armies, the girl winner of great battles, the
womanly angel of camp and court, so sud-
denly and so utterly alone in the midst of a
host of enemies thirsting for her death.
Hundreds of classic penmen have described
that tragic drama for us through the centu-
ries since, with one bias or another, according
as their sympathies were pro-English or pro-
French, anti-clerical, or enthusiastically de-
vout and hero worshipful. But we know
Joan of Arc now for a saint, and the cheer
and the sneer are alike hushed in awe as the
finger of God is seen in every act of that
drama, and in every answer of that unlearned
child of the fields, to the deep questions on
faith and morals put to her by learned doctors
of the schools, for her discomfiture, as they
thought, but for their own discomfiture, as
152 BLESSED JOAN OF ARC.
they found. A lamb in a den of wolves. No
matter which way she answered, she was al-
ready condemned. And not one voice raised
to counsel or defend her.
There is no irreverence in seeing in her
arraignment before a horde of venal French
priests and English soldiers, a resemblance,
in divers points, to the howling of the mob in
Pilate's house, " Crucify Him ! Crucify
Him ! " that ended in the divine tragedy on
Calvary at the hands of Jewish priests and
Roman soldiers. The same mockery of law,
the same utter loneliness of the victim, the
same hypocritical combining of religion and
politics to make assurance of condemnation
doubly sure. The same ingratitude for good
accomplished, the same holy horror at the
supernatural claims supported by so many
signs and prophecies, and yet denied as out-
rageous and impossible. The details of this
long-drawn-out harrowing of the Maid of
Orleans before her final martyrdom, are full
of keenest interest for us, because in it are
laid bare the heart and soul of this most
unique human spirit. In it we get an insight
into God's ways in the affairs of men, into
how human a saint may be; how holy a mere
mortal may be; how wise and safe it is to
follow God's lead and abandon one's will to
BLESSED JOAN OP ARC. 153
His will ; and how utterly foolish and futile to
propose and plan big things without taking
God's interests into account. In the chapel
of the vast, fortressed castle of Rouen, owned
and occupied by the Earl of Warwick and his
men at arms, was commenced, at eight o'clock
in the morning of February 21, 1431, the trial
of the Maid of Orleans.
It was now eight months since she was
captured before the gates of Gompiegne.
Eight months' idle waiting for the active
spirit who in one year undid a century's war!
Most of that time she was in easy captivity
among her own countrymen and country-
women; but since Ghristmas she was in the
cruel keeping of the Earl of Warwick, bound
like a wild beast and denied the Mass and the
Sacraments, and the presence of a woman, or
a friendly face, or one kind counsellor. The
English were impatient for her death. Since
her capture the white flag of truce waved in
many parts waiting till she would be dead to
go on with the fighting more securely. An
English army waited at Galais for months,
loath to go into France until assured the
" witch-warrior " was removed. An impor-
tant siege in another place suspended opera-
tions, pending word of her execution.
And yet it took three months for the cow-
154 BLESSED JOAN OP ARC.
ards and hypocrites to manufacture sufiflci-
ient excuse for her death, that would at the
same time remove her bodily presence from
their path, and damn her memory for the
French. She had already, by a pompous doc-
ument, been handed over by the King of
England to the EngMsh tools that infested the
Church in Paris and Eouen. Chief of these
was Pierre Cauchon, Bishop of Beauvais, who
had been driven from his See by his own
people because of his English politics. Rouen
had no archbishop since the last incumbent
died some years before. The Holy See could
not recognize the English government there,
and the English government would not toler-
ate a true Frenchman, so the Archbishopric
remained vacant. The fugitive Cauchon
being a Bishop, albeit a fugitive, assumed the
lead in church affairs in Rouen without any
authority except the political backing of the
English garrison. With that backing, and all
it promised of pelf and preferment, Cauchon
had no trouble in getting tools enough to do
his bidding and give the appearance at the
same time of justice and fair play. There are
among the historians of that time a great
variety of opinions as to his relative vindic-
tiveness in the whole proceedings. It certainly
is between him and his English masters that
BLESSED JOAN OF ARC. 155
Joan was spared no cruelty, no indignity, no
injustice. She should have been in a church
prison as she was tried as an offender against
the Faith. Instead she was jailed like the
worst criminal. She should have had counsel.
She should not have been condemned out of
her own mouth alone, without even one wit-
ness for or against her.
Cauchon had no legal jurisdiction for the
trial any more than for the government of the
ecclesiastical functions, but he assumed all the
jurisdiction and no one was able to prevent
or even criticize one who had the English king
and the Duke of Bedford behind him.
From the University of Paris he got more
of the same kind as himself to sit with him in
The University of Paris was one of the
great law schools of Europe. Civil law and
Canon law were studied by thousands of
young men under hundreds of professors,
unchallenged for accuracy and keenness and
depth of their learning. But here again Eng-
lish influence had damned righteousness. For
a quarter of a century Paris had been in
English hands, and English politics had
driven to the law schools of Florence and
Bologna, the true Frenchman from the Paris
156 BLESSED JOAN OP ARC.
It was easy for Cauchon to find fifty and
more learned men in the university, to come
to Rouen and say " Amen " to his cut-and-
dried condemnation of the Maid of Orleans
as a heretic and a witch. On the 21st of
February, 1431, forty-two of the doctors,
learned in civil and canon law, — the number
varied from forty to seventy some days — sat in
a semicircle on both sides of Bishop Cauchon,
who occupied a throne in the center.
Before and a little below them sat numer-
ous clerks and reporters, with pens and paper
ready to take down as ordered all that would
be said and done.
Three of these in particular, were the offi-
cial recorders of the proceedings, and to the
records of these, translated into Latin, and
still preserved, we are indebted for the account
of the trial. On a raised dais, in a clear space
in front and to one side, in full view of every-
body, was a seat for Joan. The body of the
chapel was full of English soldiers and retain-
ers of the Earl, as much as it would hold.
Probably numbers of the citizens of Rouen
were present also, for we read in the account
of the trial that because of the tumult and
applause on the first day it was no more held
in the chapel, but in another and more private
hall of the castle. Among the judges, regis-
BLESSED JOAN OF ARC. I57
trars, clerks, etc., there were few if any
Englishmen. But it was well understood, not
only by the pathetic little victim sitting in the
midst, but by the circles of judges and report-
ers that hemmed her round, that outside of all
these was all the power of the English King
and court and army, to urge and hurry and if
need be force the sentence of ignominious
death. Three Registrars, each with his clerks,
took down the proceedings publicly: but be-
hind curtains were two English Clerns under
the direction of Loyseleur, a renegade priest,
who had tried secretly to wring damaging ad-
missions from Joan, while he had concealed
The Public Registrars had their difBculties
from the very beginning. The notes taken by
them at the morning sittings were read over
in presence of some of the Bishop's assessors
at his house in the afternoons, and compared
with those made by the concealed English
clerks. They did not always agree, and then
there was trouble. Between what they recorded
and what Cauchon wanted them to record
there were many discrepancies, and there were
long arguments from the Bishop to make
them to suit. But to their credit the Regis-
trars were honest. One of them especially,
named Manchon, secretly friendly to Joan, and
158 BLESSED JOAN OF ARC.
a fearless man, stood by the truth and fought
for it. He it was who finally drew up all the
notes in a complete form — they were then
translated into Latin by another recorder,
Thomas de Courcelles, and in this shape are
preserved intact to this day. Judges and re-
corders and clerks were all early in their places
and the chapel filled to its utmost on the
morning of that February 21, when the call
was given : " Produce the accused."
There was a great buzz, then a silence deep
and painful, and then the sound of clanking
chains came gradually nearer. All eyes were
on the pathetic little figure in a page's suit
of soft, dead black, moving slowly because of
the chains, until the pale face was raised
directly before the double row of judges or
assessors, as they were called and are called
in the documents. For a brief space of time
she stood and the clear gaze ran along the
lines of judges as if searching for a smile or
a kind look. But the guards shoved her to her
place on the dais and she seated herself, gath-
ering her chains into her lap and holding them
there. Her white face scanned the rows of
judges, the row of registrars and their clerks,
among whom were some sympathizers, though
none dared avow themselves so. It is told
that as her eyes rested on the lines of English
BLESSED JOAN OP ARC. 159
soldiers in the body of the chapel, one soldier
meeting her look respectfully put his hand to
his head, giving her the military salute. With
a friendly smile she put up her chained hand
to her head, and returned the salute, whereat
there was a little burst of applause which the
judge sternly rebuked.
The trial began with the reading of the
royal letters conveying Joan to the hands of
the court for trial, letters of the chapter of
Kouen giving concession of territory to the
Bishop of Beauvais. Then Jean d'Estivet, ap-
pointed by the court promoter of the case,
summarized with a great show of legal forms
the circumstances of the case and the public
reports and suspicions on which it was based.
Then he called upon Joan to kneel and take
oath that she would answer truthfully and
exactly the questions to be put to her.
Did the grave great judges in two solemn
rows before her, scare the lonely little woman
or throw her off her guard? Their demand
that she take oath to speak the truth was ap-
parently reasonable enough.
But Joan's simplicity and candor were her
strength. Calmly and very gently she refused
to take the oath, saying:
" No ; for I do not know what you are going
to ask me; you might ask of me things which
160 BLESSED JOAN OF ARC.
I would not tell you." Cauchon got angry
and excited immediately. He forgot the dignity
with which he opened the court. He said, ris-
ing his voice : " Swear to speak truth on the
things which shall be asked you concerning
the Faith and of which you know."
" Of my father and mother and of what I
did after taking the road to France, willingly
will I swear ; but of the revelations which have
come to me from God, to no one will I speak or
reveal them, save only to Charles, my King;
and to you I will not reveal them, even if it
cost me my head, because I have received them
in visions and by secret counsel, and am for-
bidden to reveal them."
At this, every one, it seemed, of the forty-
two judges had something to say of threat or
command, until in a lull in the tumult Joan
begged : " Prithee, speak one at a time, fair
lords, then will I answer all of you."
For whole hours they argued and threatened
in vain to force Joan to take an unmodified
oath. She herself was the only one not ex-
cited. Finally they agreed to let her take oath
under the conditions she said. She sank to her
knees at once, put her two hands on the Mass
book before her, and swore solemnly to tell the
truth on what should be asked of her on mat-
ters concerning the Faith and her work in
BLESSED JOAN OF ARC. 161
Then she was asked her name and surname,
age, place of birth, and such like questions
touching her own personal history.
" In my own country (Lorraine was on the
borders of France) they called me Jeannette;
since I came into France I have been called
Jeanne. Of my surname I know nothing. I
was born in the village of Domremy, which is
really one with the village of Greux. The
principal church is at Greux. My father is
called Jacques d'Arc, my mother, Ysabelle. I
was baptized in the village of Domremy. * * *
I was, I believe, baptized by Messire Jean
Minet; he still lives, so far as I know. I am,
I should say, about nineteen years of age.
From my mother I learned my Pater, my Ave
Maria, and my Credo."
" Say your Pater."
This was from Cauchon, and suddenly. The
idea was to hint at witchcraft for it was sup-
posed a witch could not say the Our Father.
But Joan resented the imputation.
" No, I will not say my Pater to you unless
you will hear me in confession."
Many times the effort was made to have her
say the Our Father, but her answer was still,
"Hear me in confession and I will say it wil-
lingly." Having already exhausted some hours
in trying to force her oath and have her say
162 BLESSED JOAN OF ARC.
the Pater, the court prepared to rise. Cau-
chon ordered her back to prison. She had
hoped for a change of prison. Cauchon for-
bade Joan under pain of great penalty to try
to leave the prison which had been assigned her
in the castle.
" I do not accept such a prohibition," she an-
swered. If ever I do escape, no one shall
reproach me with having given my word to any
" You have before this, and many times
sought, we are told, to escape from the prison,
where you were detained and it is to keep you
more surely that it has been ordered to put
you in irons."
"It is true I wished to escape; and so I
wish still ; is not this lawful for all prisoners? "
And again they had to content themselves
without getting her promise.
Then John Gray was appointed solemnly as
chief jailer to Joan, with John Berwoist and
William Talbot as assistants, and all three
were made to swear, with their hands on the
gospels, to keep her close and let no one see
her or speak to her without order from Pierre
Cauchon — and they were further ordered to
bring the prisoner next morning at eight
o'clock in the ornament room of the same
castle for continuance of the trial. Thus ended
BLESSED JOAN OF ARC. 163
the first day of the most dramatic trial of a
prisoner for life on record in all history.
There were forty-two learned men against one
woman that the world would call ignorant.
Yet she proved a match for the great array of
technical talent, because versed in the science
of the saints which single-eyed, keeps God and
God's interest in sight always and so makes
no mistakes. The grueling lasted for three
months, with intermissions which the judges
needed more than did their victim. They even
showed her at the first, as a reminder to be
careful of her answers, the torture room and
hinted at its possibilities. In the face of this
tribunal, learned, able, powerful and preju-
diced, the peasant girl of nineteen stood like a
rock, unmoved by all their cleverness, un-
daunted by all their severity, never losing her
head nor her temper, her modest steadfastness
nor her high spirit.
The oiHcial record of the first day ends thus :
" Finally, having accomplished all the pre-
ceding, we appointed the said Jeanne to appear
the next day, at 8 o'clock in the morning, be-
fore us, in the ornament room, at the end of
the great hall of the Castle of Kouen."
" In spinning and sewing I do not fear any woman in
February 22, at eight o'clock in the morn-
ing, Pierre Cauchon and his peculiar ecclesias-
tical court increased from forty-two of the day
before to forty-eight judges, were in their seats
ready for the second day's trial of Joan of Arc
for treason to the Catholic Faith.
To one of the judges, Jean Beaupere, a
reverend doctor of theology from the Univer-
sity of Paris, was given the privilege of chief
The plan of the day was to trap her into
saying something contrary to Christian doc-
trine, or something that would cast doubt on
the heavenly nature of her revelations, or
something that would give any color of witch-
craft to her miraculous triumphs.
Of her direct and deadly opposition to the
English invasion of France, there was no doubt
nor secret, and, of course, for this she was
amenable to English law, and liable to quick
and cruel death at the hands of her English
BLESSED JOAN OF ARC. 165
captors. But that was never England's way.
A hero's death would leave her memory a
source of strength to French arms. She must
It must be shown that her miraculous
powers came from the demon and not from
An ecclesiastical court at Poitiers examined
her a year before, when she first came to the
king for the rescue of Orleans.
That court decided that her mission and her
Voices were from God.
But she was in different hands and she must
be proved to do wonders in the name of Beel-
zebub, so the English could bum her with
" Bring in the accused." And for a second
time the gentlest, purest, bravest heart in
France faced that throng of angry men— seek-
ing from herself an excuse to do away with her
as unworthy to live.
The evening before, Cauchon had spent an
hour with a man whom he had sent to Dom-
remy to collect evidence against Joan, espe-
cially her connection with the Fairy Tree in
that village. The man had brought back from
Domremy and five adjacent parishes, a great
deal of testimony in praise of Joan, from
young and old, and as he said himself, " such
166 BLESSED JOAN OF ARC.
things as he would like to hear said of his own
sister." But not one word that showed she
frequented the neighborhood of the fairy tree.
The Bishop was furious and sent him off
without one franc of the promised wage he
was to get for his time and trouble.
A further ruffle to Cauchon's temper was
occasioned by Joan's jailer, Massieu, who, con-
ducting her to and from her prison, allowed
her in passing the chapel door, to pause for a
moment's adoration, outside the closed door,
of the Blessed Sacrament kept within. Joan
had begged it — she who asked no favors of her
Cauchon warned Massieu not to let " the Ex-
communicate " again have such privilege if he
did not want to lose his head.
Another vexation Cauchon suffered »vas the
defection of one of the judges who expressing
his disapproval of the whole proceedings fled
Cauchon opened the proceedings the second
" You are now required to take oath to an-
swer truly all questions asked you."
" I made oath yesterday, my lord, let that
The bishop flared up at the quiet refusal
and insisted. For a long time he urged and
BLESSED JOAN OF ARC. 157
commanded, Joan simply shaking her head in
refusal. At last she said slowly and firmly :
" I made oath yesterday, let that suffice.
Of a truth you do burden me too much."
Cauchon, disgusted and chagrined, turned
to Beaupere and bade him go on with the in-
Rev. Jean Beaupere, doctor of theology,
" Now, Jeanne, the matter is very simple.
You are to answer truly the questions I put to
you as you have sworn to do."
But Joan was not to be caught by gracious-
ness any more than by bad temper.
" You may well ask me some things on which
I shall tell you the truth, and some on which
I shall not tell you anything. If you were
well informed about me, you would wish me
well out of your hands. I have done nothing
except by revelation."
" How old were you when you left your
father's house? "
" On the subject of my age I cannot vouch."
"In your youth did you learn any trade?"
" Yes. I learned to spin and to sew. In
spinning and sewing I do not fear any woman
This was greeted with some applause, and
a pleased expression lit up her face for a mo-
168 BLESSED JOAN OF ARC.
" Had you other occupations at home? "
" Yes. I helped my mother in the household
work and went to the pastures sometimes with
the sheep and cattle."
Asked about her religious duties she an-
" Every year I confessed myself to my own
Cur6, and, with his permission to another
priest, when he was prevented. Sometimes
also, two or three times, I confessed to the
mendicant friars; this was at Neuf chateau.
At Easter I received the Sacrament of the
" Did you receive the Sacrament of the Eu-
charist at any other time but Easter?"
Several times was this question put to her,
but as if she would say, " Why do ye tempt
me, ye hypocrites ? " she refused to answer,
" Pass on to things you are privileged to
Beaupere winced, but passed on to the ques-
tion of her Voices :
" When did you first hear these Voices ? "
" I was thirteen when I first heard a Voice
coming from God to help me to live well. I
was frightened. It came at mid-day, in my
father's garden in the summer."
"Had you been fasting?"
BLESSED JOAN OF ARC. 169
"The day before?"
" From what direction did it come? "
" From the right. From towards the church.
It came with a bright light; rarely do I hear
it without its being accompanied by a bright
light. This light comes from the same side as
the Voice. Generally it is a great light. Since
I came into France I have often heard this
" But how could you see this light you speak
of, when the light was at the side? "
Joan brushed aside this question as un-
worthy an answer, and went on :
" If I were in a wood I could easily hear the
Voice which came to me. It seemed to me to
come from lips I should reverence.
" I believe it was sent me from God. When
I heard it for the third time, I recognized thai'
it was the Voice of an angel. This Voice has
always guarded me well and I have always
understood it; it instructed me to be good and
to go often to church ; it told me it was neces-
sary to come into France."
"In what form did the Voice appear?"
Joan hesitated a moment, looking into her
questioner's face, and then said quietly:
" As to that I will not tell you."
170 BLESSED JOAN OP ARC.
"Did the Voice seek you often?"
" Yes. Twice or three times a week it said
to me : 'Go into France.' I could stay no
"What else did it say?"
" That I should raise the siege of Orleans."
"Was that all?"
" No ; I was to go to Vaucouleurs and Robert
de Baudricourt would give me soldiers to go
with me to France. I replied that I was a
poor girl, who did not know how to ride,
neither how to fight. At last I went to my
uncle and said I wished to stay near him for a
time. I remained with my uncle eight days.
Then I said to him : ' I must go to Vaucoul-
eurs.' He took me there. When I arrived I
recognized Robert de Baudricourt, though I
had never seen him. I knew him, thanks to my
Voice, which made me recognize him. I said
to Robert : ' I must go into France.'
" Twice Robert refused to hear me and re-
pulsed me. The third time, he received me,
and furnished me with men; the Voice had
told me it would be thus. The Duke of Lor-
raine gave orders that I should be taken to
him. I went there. I told him that I wished
to go into France.
" The Duke asked me questions about his
health; but I said of that I knew nothing. I
BLESSED JOAN OF ARC. 171
spoke to him a little of my journey. I told
him he was to send his son with me, together
with some people to conduct me into France,
and that I would pray to God for his health.
I had gone to him with a safe conduct from
Vaucouleurs and from him I returned. From
Vaucouleurs I departed for the Dauphin."
"How were you dressed?"
Now this was her chief sin in their eyes — her
The Court at Poitiers, over which an Arch-
bishop had presided, had tried her on this
and other matters, and decided that as she had
a man's work to do, it was proper for her to
wear a man's dress.
But this court made no account of that de-
" How were you dressed ? " And every ear
was keen for the answer.
The answer came quickly and simply :
" I wore a man's dress, and also a sword
which Robert de Baudricourt gave me, but no
" Who advised you to wear the dress of a
She paid no heed but went on :
" I had with me a knight, a squire, and their
servants, with whom I reached the town of St.
Urbain, where I slept in an abbey. On the
172 BLESSED JOAN OF AKC.
way later I passed through Auxerre, where I
heard Mass in the principal church. Thence-
forward I often heard my Voices."
" Who counseled you to take a man's dress? "
At last she answered : " With that I charge
" What did Baudricourt say to you when
you were leaving?"
" He made them that were with me promise
to conduct me well and safely, and to me he
said : ' Go, and let come what may ! ' "
Again the subject of her man's dress was
" Did your Voice advise you to wear man's
dress ? "
" I believe my Voice gave me good advice."
That was as definite an answer as they could
get. Then she was asked how she happened
to be let near the king.
" I went without hindrance to the king.
Having arrived at the village of St. Catherine
de Fierbois, I sent for the first time to the
castle of Chinon, where the king was.
" I wen t to the king who was at the castle.
When I entered the room where he was I rec-
ognized him among many others by the coun-
sel of my Voice, which revealed him to me. I
told him that I wished to go and make war on
BLESSED JOAN OP ARC. 173
" When the Voice showed you the king, was
there any light ? "
" Pass that ! "
" Did you see an angel over the king? "
" Pass that ! Before the king set me to work
he had many apparitions and beautiful revela-
"What revelations and apparitions had the
" I will not tell you. It is not time to an-
swer about them ; but send to the king and he
will tell you. The Voice had promised me
that as soon as I came to the king he would
" Those of my party knew well that the Voice
had been sent me from God ; my king and
many others, I am sure, have also heard the
Voices which came to me.
" There were there Charles de Bourbon and
two or three others."
"Do you still hear the Voices?"
" There is not a day when I do not hear my
Voices; indeed I have much need of them."
" What do you ask of them?"
" I have never asked any recompense but the
salvation of my soul."
" Did the Voice tell you to follow the
" The Voice told me to remain at St. Denis.
174 BLESSED JOAN OF ARC.
I wished to do so, but, against my will, the
lords made me leave. If I had not been
wounded I should not have left."
" When were you wounded ? "
" In the moat before Paris, in the assault."
"Was it a Festival day?"
" Yes, it was a Festival."
Now they had her. She acknowledged she
made an assault, and it was a Feast day of the
Church. The next question was supposed to
"Is it right to make an assault on a Fes-
If she said " Yes " her piety could be im-
peached. If she said " No " then her own
conduct and the integrity of her counsel
could be impeached.
After just a moment's thoughtful pause
Joan said : " Let it pass." As if to say : we
are not the judges of the right or wrong of it.
It is done, let it stand.
The record ends : " And as it appeared
that enough had been done for to-day, we have
postponed the aflfair to Saturday next, at 8
o'clock in the morning."
The great men were tired after the four or
five hours' anxious searching into the poor
girl's life and motives with such meager
results. As for her, she was fasting in the first
BLESSED JOAN OF ARC. 175
place and there was no rest for her body in the
hard unbacked seat. Her woman's heart must
have sank like lead at the cold cruelty mani-
fested towards her, and the hypocrisy shown
in the name of Catholic piety.
In connection with this second day's pro-
ceedings, the sworn testimony of a Rouen
theologian, Master Nicholas de Houpperville,
one of the judges, is pertinent here.
He swore at the enquiries instituted some
years later : " I was called at the beginning of
the Process. I could not come the first day.
When I presented myself the second day I was
not admitted. I was even driven away by the
bishop, because, talking one day with Master
Michel Colles, I had told him that it was dan-
gerous for many reasons to take part in this
Process. This was repeated to the bishop ; and
for this cause he had me shut up in the king's
prison at Rouen, whence I was delivered only
by the prayers of the Lord Abbot of Fecamp;
and I heard that some whom the bishop sum-
moned, advised that I should be exiled to Eng-
land or elsewhere beyond the bounds of Rouen,
had I not been delivered by the Abbot and his
" I never thought that zeal for the faith,
nor desire to bring her back to the right way,
caused the English to act thus."
"If I be not in the state of grace I pray God place me
Friday, Joan had a day of rest — if rest it
might be called — in prison. Comparative rest,
for though Cauchon and the Earl of Warwick
visited her in her prison they did not stay long
and they did not ask her many questions.
Manchon, the chief recorder of the trial, and
one to whom we are indebted that it is handed
down so true in all its details, tells of this
visit to Joan in prison, for he accompanied
them. They went to gaze at her as they might
go to see a dangerous animal, captured and
safely caged to ensure public safety.
There were three keys to her prison. The
English Cardinal or his secretary carried one,
the representative of the Inquisition carried
another, and the Promoter of the trial carried
For the king and statesmen of England had
paid a thousand pounds for her, and had
promised an annuity of three hundred pounds
to the Burgundian soldier who had captured
BLESSED JOAN OF ARC. 177
her. They valued their prize too highly to let
her out of their mind or sight for a whole day.
Three English soldiers were locked in with
her, and besides these she saw no one except
by special permission of Warwick or Cauchon.
The Duchess of Bedford was asked to have her
examined by competent women in the begin-
ning and this was done. The Duchess ap-
pointed two women who pronounced Joan " a
maiden pure and good," and the Duchess forth-
with warned her husband to see that no harm
came to the girl's honor.
Nevertheless, Joan retained her dress of a
man for better safety; and her ignorance of
the English language saved her from the coarse
talk of her jailers, who played cards and
cracked jokes all day, unmindful of her unless
when they piously wished she was dead so
they might have a change of scene and occupa-
On Saturday, February 24, early in the
morning was opened the third day of the trial.
The Bishop and sixty-two assessors present.
The accused was brought in wearily drag-
ging her chains, and then the same struggle
began as on the two other days, the struggle
to make her swear unreservedly to answer
truly all their questions.
Jn the exact words of the Evidence:
178 BLESSED JOAN OF ARC.
" We did require the aforenamed Jeanne to
swear to speak the truth simply and absolutely
on the questions to be addressed to her, with-
out adding any restrictions to her oath. We
did three times thus admonish her. She an-
" ' Give me leave to speak. By my faith !
You may well ask me such things as I will not
tell you. Perhaps on many of the things you
may ask me I shall not tell you truly, espe-
cially on those that touch on my revelations;
for you may constrain me to say things that
I have sworn not to say ; then I should be per-
jured, which you ought not to wish.' And
then she looked keenly at the Bishop and said :
" ' I tell you, take good heed of what you
say, you who are my judge; you take great re-
sponsibility in thus charging me. I should say
that it is enough to have sworn twice.' "
But the hectoring went on. We have it
word for word in the documents, and none of
it is immaterial for it concerns this great
drama of five hundred years ago, newly revived
through the recent action of the Church in
giving Joan to us as a mediator with God.
Gauchon seemed not to notice her warning,
but asked again:
" Will you swear simply and absolutely ? "
"You may surely do without this. I have
BLESSED JOAN OF ARC. 179
sworn enough already, twice. All the clergy of
Eouen and Paris cannot condemn me if it be
not law. Of my coming into France I will
speak the truth willingly; but I will not say
all : the space of eight days would not suffice."
" Take the advice of the Assessors whether
you should swear or not."
" Of my coming into France I will speak
truth willingly; but not of the rest. Speak
no more of it to me."
" You render yourself liable to suspicion
in not being willing to speak the truth abso-
" Speak to me no more of it. Pass on."
" We again require you to swear, precisely
" I will say willingly what 1 know, and yet
And holding out her manacled hands, she
said in most appealing tones:
" I am come in God's name ; I have nothing
to do here ; let me be sent back to God, whence
" Again we summon and require you to
swear, under pain of going forth charged with
what is imputed to you."
" Pass on."
"A last time we require you to swear, and
urgently admonish you to speak the truth on
180 BLESSED JOAN OF ARC.
all that concerns your trial, you expose your-
self to great peril by such a refusal."
Now he had said it, " on all that concerns
your trial." Not " absolutely and precisely."
If he had said it so at first it would have been
all right, but they thought to spring it on the
child. But she was wiser than they deemed
her and saw the point.
" I am ready to speak the truth on what I
know touching the trial," was her quick re-
sponse in a relieved tone of voice.
Disgusted with his seeming victory that was
really a victory for her, Cauchon turned to
Beaupere and bade him question her—which
he did as follows. We give it word for word,
as it is in the Records :
" How long is it since you have had food
and drink ? "
" Since yesterday afternoon."
This and subsequent inquiries as to Joan's
habit of fasting was to prove a weak bodily
health that might prove her visions merely
hallucinations. Joan's usual meal was bread
dipped in wine and water.
" How long Is it since you heard your
" I heard them yesterday and to-day."
" At what hour yesterday did you hear
BLESSED JOAN OF ARC. 181
" Yesterday I heard them three times — once
in the morning, once at Vespers, and again
when the Ave Maria rang in the evening. I
have even heard them oftener than that."
" What were you doing yesterday morning
when the Voice came to you ? "
" I was asleep ; the Voice woke me."
" By touching you on the arm ? "
" It awoke me without touching me."
" Was it in your room ? "
" Not so far as I know, but in the Castle."
" Did you thank it and did you go on your
knees ? "
" I did thank it — sitting on the bed ; I joined
my hands; I implored its help. The Voice
said to me ' Answer boldly ! ' I asked advice
as to how I should answer, begging it to en-
treat for this the counsel of the Lord. The
Voice said to me : ' Answer boldly ; God will
help thee.' Before I had prayed it to give me
counsel, it said to me several words I could
not readily understand. After I was awake it
said to me ' Answer boldly ! ' "
Turning full on Bishop Cauchon :
" You say you are my judge. Take care what
you are doing; for in truth I am sent by God,
and you place yourself in great danger."
Beaupere then continued;
182 BLESSED JOAN OF ARC.
" Has this Voice sometimes varied in its
" I have never found it to give two contrary
opinions. This night I heard it say again
' Answer boldly ! ' "
" Has your Voice forbidden you to say
everything on what you are asked ? "
" I will not answer you about that. I have
revelations touching the king that I will not
Then rising and lifting her face and her
voice, as if speaking to far beyond her sur-
roundings, she said while the tears sprang to
her eyes :
" I believe wholly — as firmly as I believe in
the Christian Faith, and that God has re-
deemed us from the pains of hell, that Voice
hath come to me from God, and by His com-
mand. The Voice comes to me from God;
and I do not tell you all I know about it, for
I have far greater fear of doing wrong in
saying to you things that would displease it,
than I have of answering you."
" Is it displeasing to God to speak the
" My Voices have entrusted to me certain
things to tell to the king not to you. This
very night they told me many things for the
welfare of my king, which I would he might
BLESSED JOAN OF ARC. 183
know at once, even if I should drink no wine
until Easter; the king would be more joyful
at his dinner."
" Can you not so deal with your Voices that
they will convey this news to your king? "
" I know not if it be God's will. If it please
God He will know how to reveal it to the king
and I shall be well content."
" Why does not this Voice speak any more
to your king, as it did when you were in his
" I do not know if it be the will of God."
Again her thoughts were above and joining
her manacled hands she said feelingly:
" Without the grace of God I should not
know how to do anything."
She sat down again with a preoccupied air,
and looking pitifully weary. Beaupere saw
" Are you in the grace of God ? "
Joan was brought back from her dream-
iness. She turned her face on Beaupere for a
moment, as if trying to fathom his question.
It was a big question from a venerable
doctor of theology to a young girl who ac-
knowledged she did not know A from B.
One of the judges, Jean Lefevre, rose in his
place instantly and cried out :
184 BLBSSE3D JOAN OF ARC. •
" It is a terrible question. The accused is
not obliged to answer it."
Poor Joan. It was about the only hint of
counsel she had had so far in her battle with
these theologians and logicians.
Cauchon was angry in a flash.
" Silence ! Take your seat. The accused
will answer the question."
But in the mouth of babes God puts wisdom
to confound the mighty. While all the court
held its breath to hear, Joan humbly and
gently gave the memorable answer to that
snaring question :
" If I be not in a state of grace, I pray God
place me in it; if I am, may God keep me
Beaupere and Cauchon exchanged glances
and Lefevre said for all to hear :
" It was beyond the wisdom of man to devise
Joan went on :
" I should be the saddest in all the world
if I knew that I were not in the grace of God.
But if I were in a state of sin, do you think
the Voice would come to me? I would that
every one could hear the Voice as I hear it.
I think I was about thirteen when it came to
me for the first time."
Talking of her youth brought a new thought
BLESSED JOAN OF ARC. 185
to Beaupere. He took a new tack in his effort
to make the poor girl say something damaging
to her character or the character of her
Voices. The Fairy Tree was a strong point in
their attack. But he must come to it in-
directly so as to catch her unprepared.
" Has your counsel revealed to you that you
will escape from prison?"
" I have nothing to tell you about that."
" Besides the Voice do you see anything? "
"I will not tell you all; I have not leave;
my oath does not touch on that. My Voice is
good and to be honored. I am not bound to
answer you about it. I request that the points
on which I do not now answer may be given
me in writing. There is a saying among chil-
dren that sometimes one is hanged for speaking
" Do the Domremy people side with the
Burgundians or with the opposite party?"
" I knew only one Burgundian at Domremy ;
I should have been quite willing for them to
have cut off his head — always had it pleased
" Were the people of Maxey Burgundians? "
" They were. As soon as I knew that my
Voices were for the king of France, I loved
the Burgundians no more."
" Had you any intention of fighting the Bur-
186 BLESSED JOAN OF ARC.
" I had a great will and desire that my king
should have his own kingdom."
" When you came into France did you wish
to be a man ? "
" I have answered this elsewhere."
" Did you not take the animals to the
" I have already answered this also. When
I was bigger and had come to the years of
discretion I did not look after the animals
generally. But I helped to take them to the
meadows and to a castle called The Island, for
fear of the soldiers."
" What have you to say about a certain tree
which is near to your village?"
This tree, like the man's dress, was one of
the points on which they hoped to catch Joan.
If her Voices and the Fairies could be con-
nected, Joan's condemnation would be swift
But all unconscious of the malicious intent
of her questioner, she answered frankly, and
gave in a few words a graphic history of the
" Not far from Domremy there is a tree that
they call 'the Ladies' Tree'; others call it
' the Fairies' Tree.' Nearby is a spring where
people sick of the fever come to drink, as I
have heard, and to seek water to restore their
BLESSED JOAN OF ARC. 187
health. I have myself seen them come thus;
but I do not know if they were healed.
" 1 have heard that the sick if once cured,
come to this tree to walk about. It is a beau-
tiful tree, a beech, from which comes the ' beau
may.' It belongs to the Seigneur Pierre de
Bourlemont, Knight. I have sometimes been
to play with the young girls, to make gar-
lands for our Lady of Domremy. Often I have
heard old folks — not of my lineage— say that
the fairies haunt this tree. I have also heard
one of my godmothers, named Jeanne, wife of
the Maire Aubrey of Domremy, say that she
has seen fairies there; whether it be true I do
not know. As for me, I never saw them that
I know of. Nor anywhere else that I know
of. I have seen the young girls putting gar-
lands on the branches of this tree, and I my-
self have sometimes put them there with my
companions ; sometimes we took these garlands
away — sometimes we left them there. Ever
since I knew that it was necessary for me to
come into France, I have given myself up as
little as possible to these distractions and
" Since I was grown up I do not remember
to have danced there. I may have danced there
when very young with the young children. I
have sung there more than danced.
188 BLESSED JOAN OF ARC.
" There is also a wood called the Oakwood,
which can be seen from my father's door ; it is
not more than half a league away. I do not
know and have never heard if the fairies ap-
pear there; but my brother told me that it is
said in the neighborhood : ' Jeannette received
her mission at the fairy tree.' It is not the
case. I told him the contrary. When I came
before the king several people asked me if
there were not in my country a woods called
the Oakwood, because there were prophecies
which said that from the neighborhood of this
wood would come a maid who should do mar-
velous things. I put no faith in that."
Joan was heard with great attention and
the recorders bent over their papers putting
down every word, and the secret recorders be-
hind the curtains too, and from Joan's frank
story of the fairies' tree and the Oakwood they
made up, as we shall see later, a whole tissue
of damaging superstitions against her.
Beaupere had enough to think about for one
day so he contented himself with one more
question, harking back to the old subject:
" Would you like to have a woman's dress ? "
" Give me one and I will take it and be gone
from prison. Otherwise no. I am content
with what I have, since it pleases God that I
BLESSED JOAN OF ARC. 189
" Since it pleases God that I wear it I am
content with it."
There was a saint's answer to a lawyer's
quibbling question. Beaupere being a theolo-
gian should appreciate the religious beauty
of it. But he shut his eyes to that and only
counted it as a further refusal to abandon
what they pretended to look upon as a horror :
" A woman in a man's dress."
The day's work is duly ended in the records
in these words :
" This done, We stayed the Interrogation,
and put off the remainder to Tuesday next, on
which day we have convoked all the Assessors,
at the same place and hour."
"I will tell willingly whatever I have permission from
God to reveal."
Sunday and Monday Joan had a quiet time
in her chains, and on Tuesday her sweet
patient countenance was once more turned to
Bishop Cauchon in the court room as he again
tried to make her swear to tell the truth in
everything on which she would be questioned.
Joan as on the three previous days of trial
steadily refused to take such an oath, reserv-
ing to herself silence on matters relating to
the king, and such as did not concern the trial.
She would tell the truth on those things she
might speak of but she would not promise to
tell all she knew. The effort to make her turn
spy on her party, on the king of France, and
his council, and to satisfy the curiosity of her
questioners as to the appearance and conver-
sation of her Voices, was made again and
again but without finding Joan asleep or
This day there were but fifty-four judges
present with the Bishop, instead of the sixty-
BLESSED JOAN OP ARC. I9I
two of the preceding day. She was at once
and several times commanded to take the oath
to speak the truth on all which should be asked
of her. But she held out that she had already
sworn to answer truthfully on everything con-
cerning the trial. To that oath she would
keep and would take no other.
Then the fire opened on the gentle little
woman sitting all alone with fifty-four pairs
of eyes bent intently and not kindly on her,
and as many ears listening for words from her
that would give them an excuse to condemn
her as a bad Catholic.
Beaupere was given the privilege of ques-
tioning her and began by asking politely,
"How are you, to-day?"
" You can see for yourself how I am. I am
as well as can be."
"Do you fast everyday this Lent?"
"Is that in the case?" and as he nodded
" Well, yes ! I have fasted every day during
" Have you heard . your Voices since Satur-
" Yes ! truly, many times."
"Did you hear them last Saturday in the
hall while you were being examined?"
" That is not in the case " — every head
192 BLESSED JOAN OP ARC.
nodded yes, for it was a question they all
wanted to ask.
" Very well, then — ^yes ! I did hear them —
but up to the moment I returned to my prison,
I heard nothing that I may repeat to you ! "
"What did it say to you in your room?"
" It said to me ' Answer boldly ! ' I take
council with my Voice about what you ask
me. I will tell willingly whatever I have per-
mission from God to reveal."
" What did your Voice last say to you? "
" I asked counsel about certain things that
you had asked me."
" Did it give you counsel ? "
" On some points, yes ; on others you may
ask me for an answer that I shall not give, not
having had leave. For, if I answered without
leave I should no longer have my Voices as
warrant. When I have permission from Our
Savior I shall not fear to speak, because I shall
" This Voice that speaks to you, is it that of
an angel, or of a saint, or from God direct?"
" It is the Voice of St. Catherine and of St.
Margaret. Their faces are adorned with beau-
tiful crowns, very rich and precious. To tell
you this I have leave from Our Lord. If you
doubt this send to Poitiers where I was exam-
BLESSED JOAN OP ARC. 193
" How do you know if these were the two
Saints? How do you distinguish them?"
" I know quite well it is they ; and I can
easily distinguish one from the other. It is
seven years now since they have undertaken
to guide me. I know them well because they
were named to me."
" Are these two Saints dressed in the same
" I will tell you no more on this point just
now. I have not leave to reveal it."
" Are they of the same age? "
" I have not leave to say."
"Which of them appeared to you first?"
"I did not distinguish them at first. » * *
I have also received comfort from St. Michael."
" What was the first Voice came to you
when you were about thirteen ? "
" It was St. Michael ; I saw him before my
eyes; he was not alone but quite surrounded
" Did you see St. Michael and these angels
bodily and in reality?"
" I saw them with my bodily eyes as well as
I see you ; when they went from me I wept. I
should have liked to be taken away with
" And what was St. Michael like? "
" I am not yet free to tell you."
194 BLESSED JOAN OF ARC.
" What did St. Michael saj to you this first
" You will have no more about it from me
to-day. Once I told the king all that had been
revealed to me, because it concerned him; but
I am no longer free to speak of all St. Michael
said to me."
Turning to Beaupere she said:
" I wish you could get a copy of the book
of the trial at Poitiers, if it please God."
" What sign do you give that you have this
revelation from God, and that it is Saint
Catherine and Saint Margaret who talks with
" I have told you that it is they ; believe me
if you will."
" How can you make sure of distinguishing
such things as you are free to tell from those
which are forbidden ? "
" On some points I have asked leave. On
others I have obtained it. I would have been
torn asunder by four horses rather than have
come into France without God's leave."
" Was it God who prescribed for you the
dress of a man?"
" What concerns this dress is a small thing
— less than nothing. I did not take it by the
advice of any man in the world. I did not
BLESSED JOAN OP ARC. 195
take this dress nor do anything but by the com-
mand of Our Lord and of the Angels."
" Did it appear to you that this command to
take man's dress was lawful ? "
" All that I have done is by Our Lord's
command. If I had been told to take some
other, I should have done it, because it would
have been His command."
Some cross-questioning followed, trying to
shake her testimony, that it was by no man's
advice she took man's dress, and then Beau-
pere came back to the King of France :
" Why was your King able to put faith in
" He had good signs, and the clergy bore me
" What revelations has your King had ? "
"You will not have them from me this
year. During three weeks I was closely ques-
tioned by the clergy at Chinon and Poitiers.
Before he was willing to believe me, the King
had a sign of my mission, and the clergy of my
party were of opinion that there was nothing
but good in my mission."
" Have you been to St. Catherine de Fier-
" Yes. I heard there three Masses in one
day. Afterwards I went to the Castle of
Chinon, whence I sent letters to the King, to
196 BLESSED JOAN OF ARC.
know if I should be allowed to see him, saying
that I had traveled a hundred and fifty
leagues to come to his help, and that I knew
many things good for him.
" I think I remember there was in my letter
a remark that I should recognize him among
" I had a sword that I had received at
Vaucouleurs ; whilst I was at Tours or at Chi-
non I sent to seek for a sword which was in
the Church of St. Catherine de Fierbois, be-
hind the altar; it was found there at once; the
sword was in the ground and rusty; upon it
were five crosses (possibly a Jerusalem cross,
bearing out the legend that it was a Crusader's
sword). I wrote to the priests of this place,
that it might please them to let me have this
sword, and they sent it to me. It was under
the earth, not very deeply buried, behind the
altar as it seemed to me, but I do not know
exactly if it was before or behind the altar.
As soon as it was found the priests rubbed it
and the rust fell off at once without effort.
It was an armorer of Tours who went to look
for it. The priests of Fierbois made me a
present of a scabbard; those of Tours of an-
other; the one was of crimson velvet; the
other of cloth of gold. I had a third made of
leather, very strong. When I was taken pris-
I offered at St. Denis my sword and armor.
BLESSED JOAN OF ARC. 199
oner I did not have this sword. I always bore
this sword of Fierbois from the time I got it,
up to my departure from Saint Denis after
the attack on Paris."
" What blessing did you invoke or have in-
voked on this sword ? "
" I neither blessed it nor had it blessed ; I
should not have known how to set about it. I
cared very much for this sword because it had
come from the Church of Saint Catherine,
whom I love so much."
" Have you sometimes prayed that your
sword might be fortunate?"
" It is good to know that I wished my armor
might have good fortune."
" Had you your sword when you were taken
" No ! I had one which had been taken from
"Where was the sword of Fierbois left?"
" I offered at Saint Denis a sword and
armor, but it was not this sword. I had that
at Lagny ; from Lagny to Compiegne I bore the
sword of the Burgundian ; it was a good sword
for fighting — very good for giving stout buffets
and hard clouts. To tell what became of the
other sword does not concern this case, and
I will not tell it now. My brothers have all
my goods — ^my horses, my sword, so far as I
200 BLESSED JOAN OP ARC.
know, and the rest, which are worth more
than twelve thousand crowns."
" Had you a standard at Orleans, and what
color was it ? "
" I had a banner, the field of which was
sprinkled with lilies; the world was painted
on it with an angel at each side. It was white,
of the white cloth called ' bocasln ', and above
were the words ' Jesus, Maria ' ; it was fringed
" Which did you care most for, your banner
or your sword ? "
" Better, forty times better, my banner than
" Who caused you to get this painting done
upon your banner ? "
"I have told you often enough I have had
nothing done but by the command of God.
It was I myself who carried this banner, when
I attacked the enemy, so that I might kill no
one. I never killed any one."
" What force did your King give you when
he set you to work ? "
" He gave me ten or twelve thousand men.
First, I went to Orleans, to the fortress of
St. Loup, and afterwards to that of the bridge.
I was quite certain of raising the siege of
Orleans. I had revelation of it. I told it to
the King before going there."
BLESSED JOAN OF ARC. 201
" Did you tell your people before going to
the assault, that only you would receive the
arrows, stones and cross bolts thrown by the
machines and cannons ? "
" No ! A hundred and even more of my
people were wounded. I had said to them:
' Be fearless and you will raise the siege ! '
Then, in the attack on the bridge fortress I
was wounded by a cross-bolt in the neck; but
I had great comfort from Saint Catherine and
was healed in less than a fortnight. I did
not interrupt for this either my riding or my
work. I knew I should be wounded. I had
told the King so, but that, nothwithstanding,
I should go on with my work.
" This had been revealed to me by the
Voices of my two Saints — the blessed Cather-
ine and the blessed Margaret. It was I who
first planted a ladder against the bridge for-
tress, and it was in raising this ladder that I
"Why did you not accept the treaty with
the Captain of Jargeau?"
" It was the Lords of my party who
answered the English that they should not
have the fortnight's delay which they asked,
telling them to retire at once, they and their
horses. As for me, I told the English at Jar-
geau to retire if they wished with their doub-
202 BLESSED JOAN OF ARC.
lets and their lives, if not they would be taken
"Had you revelation from your Voices
whether it was right or not to give this fort-
" I do not remember."
" At this point," say the records, " the rest
of the inquiry hath been postponed until
Thursday at the same place."
It had been a long and tiresome sitting, for
between the questions often there were pauses
for consultation (not by the accused with her
counsel, for she had none visible) and there
was much referring to the record of Joan's
previous day's testimony to find something
weak or contradictory in her statements. Sor-
cery must be somehow fastened on her sword,
witchcraft on her banner, and presumption
and impiety on herself.
Joan was fasting and tired and ought to be
frightened by such overpowering and hostile
surroundings. Fifty-two Canon Law profici-
ents ought to be able to trap a country girl
who " did not know A from B."
Joan went back to her cell less anxious and
tired than they were, however, for God and
His Saints went with her.
She tells her English Judges they will lose France forever*
On Thursday, March 1, 1431, for the fifth
time, Joan of Arc was brought out from her
lonely prison to sit before Bishop Cauchon
and fifty-eight assistant judges in a large hall
in the Earl of Warwick's Castle of Rouen,
and defend herself against charges of heresy
and witchcraft. True, no special charge at
all was so far formally made against her, but
these public examinations were held so that
out of them, out of her answers to questions
of her judges, such evidence would be gleaned
as could be put together for specific charges
when the proper time and occasion required.
As on the four previous examinations, this
fifth one began with the same persistent effort
to make Joan swear unconditionally to answer
all questions put to her, which she, first and
last, guided, as we see now, by the Spirit of
Light and Truth, firmly refused to do. She
always maintained that there were some
things she would not tell because she had no
leave from her Heavenly Voices to do so.
In the exact words of the document still to
204 BLESSED JOAN OP ARC.
be seen as it was recorded that day, nearly
five hundred years ago:
" Thursday, March 1st, in the same place,
the Bishop and fifty-eight assessors present.
" In their presence, we summoned and re-
quired Jeanne simply and absolutely to take
her oath to speak the truth on that which
should be asked her.
" ' I am ready,' she replied, ' as I have al-
ready declared to you, to speak the truth on
all that I know touching this Case; but I
know many things which do not touch on
this Case, and of which there is no need to
speak to you. I will speak willingly and in all
truth on all which touches this Case.'
" We again summoned her and required her ;
and she replied:
" ' What I know in truth touching this Case,
I will tell willingly.'
"And in this wise did she swear, her hands
on the Holy Gospels. Then she said:
" ' On what I know touching the Case, I
will speak the truth willingly ; I will tell you
as much as I would to the Pope of Rome, if I
were before him.' "
Now in mentioning the Pope of Rome she
unwittingly opened up a new vista for her tor-
BLESSED JOAN OF ARC. 205
Early in her career, when the fame of her
revelations had received the approval of the
ecclesiastical Court at Poitiers, the Count de
Armagnac had sent a messenger, with a letter,
to Joan, asking her to beg the light of the
Holy Ghost, and tell the people which of three
men claiming to be Pope was really the suc-
cessor of Saint Peter, and entitled to the
allegiance of the people. For the Church was
in a storm at the time, owing to the intrigues
of politicians, taking advantage of a vacancy
in the See of Saint Peter, and fear and favor
were brought to bear on either hand to inter-
fere with the College of Cardinals, so that
actually three men were publicly announced
as Pope; Martin V. in Rome, another in Val-
ence, styled Clement VII., and a third calling
himself Benedict XIV.
Now, when the Count de Armagnac sent his
letter to Joan, asking her help in deciding
which was the true Pope, she was more inter-
ested in driving the English out of France
than in any other question. It was not her
business to decide the Papal succession. Per-
haps she should have said so. But she was
not prepared for the question, and was getting
ready for battle with the English. She was
mounting her horse when the Count's letter
was brought, and read to her, and she told her
206 BLESSED JOAN OF. AEC.
secretary to answer the Count and say that
she could not tell anything about it now, but
when she had leisure in Paris or elsewhere she
would think about it and answer him with the
help of God.
Joan rode ofif to her battle and probably
thought little of either her letter or the
Count's, but they fell into the hands of her
enemies and were witnesses against her — prov-
ing her presumptuous for one thing, besides a
few other equally sad and un-Catholic faults
in her character. Joan's simple sincerity
shone once more and put the quibblers at a
disadvantage. The two letters were read to
her and she was asked if they were correct.
She readily acknowledged the letters and that
in the main they were correct. She made some
corrections in the phraseology of her own.
"What do you say of Our Lord the Pope?
And whom do you believe to be the true
Fifty-eight theologians and lawyers stood
for the question, to one, confessedly ignorant
young girl. But her inspired answer, mag-
nificent in its utter innocence and simplicity,
turned the tables on them.
" Whom do you believe to be the true
Pope? " they asked again.
"Are there two ? "
BLESSED JOAN OF ARC. 207
That was all she said in reply, and she said
it gravely and with a look of surprise. The
wise men felt they were answered. " Out of
the mouth of babes comes forth wisdom "
they remembered, and held their peace for a
But they recovered their wits. They must
not let it go with her. Joan represented
France. How bitterly to them she had stood
for France during the past two years! They
must let nothing go with her! They tried the
question in another form :
" Had you any doubt about whom the Count
" I did not know how to inform the Count.
* * * But as for myself, I hold and believe
that we should obey Our Lord, the Pope, who
is in Rome."
That was not satisfactory, so they put it
in another shape:
" Did you say that on the matter of the three
Sovereign Pontiffs, you would have counsel ? "
" I never wrote or gave command to write in
the matter of the three Sovereign Pontiffs."
They gave it up and probed her presumption
in other matters. They read aloud the letter
that Joan first sent to the English before
Orleans in which she told them she was sent
by God to drive them from France, and restore
208 BLESSED JOAN OF ARC.
to his crown and throne the true King of
France, Charles VII; and threatened them if
they did not take themselves off at once they
would be hurt, and that she would raise
around them so great a disturbance that for a
thousand years there should be none so great.
She was asked if she recognized the letter
and accepted responsibility for it. She said
yes, and with some unimportant alterations it
was correct. That nobody dictated it to her,
but she showed it to some of her party before
sending it. Then as if the memory of it and
the splendid work that followed it were like
a draught of strong fresh air, she stood up
very straight and fine, while her glance swept
the whole assemblage:
" Before seven years are passed the English
will lose a greater wager than they have al-
ready done at Orleans; they will lose every-
thing in France. The English will have in
France a greater loss than they have ever had,
and that by a great victory which God will
send to the French."
Frenchmen most of them were, that were
in front of her as judges, albeit Frenchmen
bought by the English. But the room was full
of Englishmen too, and there was great com-
motion among them to hear such bold
BLESSED JOAN OF ARC. 209
" How do you know this ? "
" I should know it well by revelation, which
has been made to me, and that this will hap-
pen within seven years; and I am sore vexed
that it is deferred so long. I know it by reve-
lation, as clearly as I know that you are before
me at this moment."
" When will this happen ? "
" I know not the day nor the hour."
" In what year will it happen ? "
" You will have no more from me about it.
Nevertheles, I heartily wish it might be before
St. John's Day."
" Did you not say that this would happen
before Martinmas, in winter?"
" I said that before Martinmas many things
would be seen, and that the English might
perhaps be overthrown." (The English did
retire from Compiegne before St. Martin's
Day, November 11.)
" Through whom did you know that this
would happen ? "
" Through Saint Catherine and Saint Mar-
There was something to think about. They
had their own eye witness of the truth of so
many of her prophecies that this promise of
their complete downfall, made so calmly and
earnestly right in their faces, was very dis-
210 BLESSED JOAN OP ARC.
turbing. They must know accurately more
about the Voices that told her such things.
They pressed her closely for exact information
about how they, Saint Catherine and Saint
Margaret, looked, and what they wore, and
how they were adorned. To all of which Joan
gave ready answer: that she spoke with them
every day; that she knew them to be Saint
Catherine and Saint Margaret, because they
told her they were; that she saw their faces
and glorious crowns on their heads; she was
not curious about the rest of their dress or
their limbs or other members; they spoke well
and in good language, and she heard them
" How do they speak if they have no mem-
" I refer me to God. That is God's affair,
not mine. The voice is beautiful, sweet and
low; it speaks in the French tongue."
"Does not Saint Margaret speak English?"
" Why should she speak English, when she
is not on the English side? "
" On these crowned heads were there rings?
— in the ears or elsewhere?"
Maybe her rings were the instruments of her
sorcery, so they came to them in this round-
about way — "Did the Saints wear rings?"
" I know nothing about it."
BLESSED JOAN OF ARC. 211
" Have you any rings yourself?"
This question reminded her, and turning to
Bishop Cauchon she said :
" You hare one of mine ; give it back to me.
The Burgundians have another of them. I
pray you if you have my ring, show it to me."
" Who gave you the ring which the Bur-
" My father or my mother. I think the
names ' Jesus, Maria' are engraved on it. I
do not know who had them written there; there
is not, I should say, any stone in the ring; it
was given to me at Domremy. It was my
brother gave me the one you have. I charge
you give it to me; if not to me, then to the
Church. I never cured anyone with any of my
She was pressed to say what promises her
Voices made to her, for herself.
" They told me that my King would be re-
established in his Kingdom, whether his en-
emies willed it or no; they told me they
would lead me to Paradise; I begged it of
" Did they make you any other promise? "
" Yes, but that is not in the Case. In three
months I will tell you the other promise."
" Did your Voices tell you that before three
months you will be liberated from prison ? "
212 BLESSED JOAN OF ARC.
" That is not in your Case. Nevertheless, I
will answer. I do not know when I shall be
delivered. But those who wish to send me out
of the world may well go before me."
They pressed the question. Joan insisted it
was not in the Case. They held a counsel, and
the opinion of the judges there and then was
that it did touch on the Case. She was urged
to name the time of her deliverance. But she
persisted she had no leave to do so. Besides
the day was not named to her. She wished for
delay that she might get leave to tell them.
" Did your Voices forbid you to tell the
" There are a number of things that do not
touch on the Case. I know well that my King
will regain the Kingdom of France. I know it
as well as I know that you are before me,
seated in judgment. I should die if this revela-
tion did not comfort me every day."
They thought for a while and put heads to-
gether and took another tack:
" What have you done with your man-
" I never have had one. I have heard there
is one near our home but I have never seen it.
I have heard it is a dangerous thing to keep.
I do not know for what it is used."
[The mandrake was considered part of a
BLESSED JOAN OF ARC. £13
" Where is the mandrake of which you have
" I have heard that it is in the earth, near
the tree of which I spoke before; but I do not
know the place. Above this mandrake, there
was, it is said, a large tree."
Then she was asked some trivial questions
about St. Michael's appearance, and what he
wore and had he a balance. She was grieved
at the irreverence but answered the many fool-
ish questions about St. Michael with dignity
" I have great joy in seeing him for then it
seems to me I cannot be in mortal sin. Saint
Catherine and Saint Margaret were pleased,
in turn, from time to time, to receive my con-
fession. If I am in mortal sin, it is without
my knowing it."
" When you confessed did you think you
were in mortal sin ? "
" I do not know that I am in mortal sin,
and, if it please God, I will never so be, nor
please God, have I ever done or ever will do
deeds which charge my soul."
Their probing of her secret soul gave little
ammunition for their batteries, and now they
shift to get her King's secrets from her :
" What sign did you give your King that you
came from God ? "
214 BLESSED JOAN OP ARC.
" Go and ask it of him. I will tell you noth-
ing of what concerns my King. Thereon I
will not speak."
They continued to press her with many
questions concerning the King, to none of
which she vouchsafed answer until they came
" Has your King a real crown at Rheims ? "
" I think my King took with joy the Crown
he had at Rheims; but another, much richer,
would have been given him later. He took the
first to hurry on his work, at the request of
the people at Rheims, to avoid too long a
charge upon them of the King's soldiers. If
he had waited he would have had a crown a
thousand times more rich. I have not seen it
but I have heard that it is rich and valuable
to a degree."
Many more questions about this mysterious
crown was she pestered with until at last they
were worn out even more than she was, though
she was fasting and heavily chained, with
the long hard day's work. The record for the
" We put an end to the interrogation and
postponed the remainder to Saturday next,
8 o'clock in the morning, in the same place,
summoning all the Assessors to be present."
" Let me be taken before the Pope and I will answer all I
ought to answer."
Joan had a week's rest from persecution of
her questioners while Cauchon and his secret
Council of three or four picked men, assembled
in his house morning and afternoon, to go
over the records of the six days' public exami-
Cauchon was angry and dissatisfied. On
not one point had they got satisfactory infor-
mation from her. Though they had asked her
repeatedly and directly, they did not yet know
what sign she brought to Charles VII, by which
he accepted her as a messenger from God.
That was something they wanted to know
Then they wanted to know by whose advice
or orders she wore the male attire, which she
so decidedly refused to change while in prison.
They wanted to know if she knew she was to
be captured, and, if that was revealed to her,
maybe it was revealed also when and how she
216 BLESSED JOAN OF ARC.
They knew how they wanted to end her.
They could give her to the flames in twenty-
four hours — or less — and they intended her
for the flames from the first.
But there were many things they wanted to
know from her. The crowning of the King of
France at Rheims was a great blow to them —
greater even than the loss of Orleans ; because,
though the English held his capital, Paris, yet
the fact that he was regularly crowned at
Rheims, as all the Kings of France had been,
gave him a standing all over Europe, and even
with the Burgundians. The crowning of the
young English king, Henry VI, at Paris as
King of France, was a flank movement, a po-
The crowning of Charles VII had a majestic
regularity about it that the whole world must
If they could only vitiate it in some way!
If they could show France and England and
Rome that Beelzebub, not St. Michael, was the
leading spirit of the anti-English reaction in
France, and that Joan's mission was not from
God but God's enemy — the English interests
might be saved even yet.
Warwick's revengeful impatience for Joan's
death was kept in check by his desire to get
from her what he felt she must know (whether
BLESSED JOAN OF ARC. 217
from God or the Devil), how it all would end.
She had told them that it was revealed to
her that before seven years the English would
lose every hold they had on France. She had
predicted this at the same time that she told
them she was going to deliver Orleans and
crown her king.
She did both, and that made the prophecy
about England's final defeat more interesting.
With a brave countenance she faced the Eng-
lish still, and told them they had to go.
They were greatly in doubt that all this was
God's work. Warwick nagged at Cauchon
about it, and Cauchon, in desperation, deter-
mined, before they burnt her, to make her tell
all she knew.
So they picked out points in her testimony,
on which they would drive her to tell every-
Then for nine days, morning and afternoon,
Cauchon, two other reverend doctors from the
Anglicized University of Paris, two witnesses,
to make show of legality, and a recorder to
take everything down in proper form and
order, went to Joan's prison, and closing in on
their prey — tired and lonely and abandoned —
they coaxed, they threatened, they questioned
and cross-questioned her; there was not a secret
of the girl's life they did not wrench from her.
218 BLESSED JOAN OP ARC.
But their first and last question every day,
asked in a variety of ways, so as to throw her
off her guard, was :
" What was the sign that you brought your
But they never got it from Joan. All the
world knew twenty years later that it was the
assurance that he was the legitimate son of
Charles VI, and the rightful heir to the French
throne. He had his doubts, known only to God
and himself, and when this child came from
far-off Domremy and told him of his doubts, and
that he must put them away, for he was the
rightful heir and would soon be the crowned
king, he knew she was sent from God.
Then he had the Archbishop and a clerical
council at Poitier's, examine Joan as to her
piety and probity and her right to wear a
man's dress and lead the army. And the coun-
cil at Poitier's pronounced her a messenger
Now, the English, nor their allies, knew none
of this except by hearsay. They had no wit-
nesses but Joan herself. She spoke freely of
everything " concerning the trial " ; but the
sign she brought the king was his secret, and
she would not reveal it though they " cut her
Indeed, if they had even guessed at it, what
BLESSED JOAN OP ARC. 219
a mountain they would have made of it! If
they knew that the French king had doubted
his own legitimacy, they would have poisoned
all Europe, and his subjects especially, against
him. They would have rung all the changes
on the horror of it, until Charles would be
glad to hide his head in shame anywhere out
of France. But they did not suspect it, and
Joan kept the secret well, in spite of the great
stress brought to bear upon her to tell it.
They spent the best part of two days ques-
tioning her about this sign, of which she, in
her wearied, weakened state of body and mind,
was beguiled into saying many things, which
did not satisfy them or their curiosity, yet
gave them pegs on which to hang new accu-
" What was the sign you brought your
king?" Every examination began thus.
" It was something beautiful, honorable and
most credible; the best and richest in the
"Does this sign still last?"
" It is well to know it ; it will last a thou-
sand years and more. My sign is with the
" Is it gold, silver, precious stones, or a
crown ? "
220 BLESSED JOAN OP ARC.
And they crowded close to her, with eager
faces, in her narrow, ugly prison.
" I will tell you nothing more about it."
And then, as if she could not contain herself
with thinking about it, she broke out :
" No man in the world can devise so rich
a thing as this sign ; but the sign that you need
is that God may deliver me from your hands;
that is the most sure sign He could send you.
When I was in the trenches of Melun, it was
told me by my Voices — that is to say by St.
Catherine and St. Margaret- -' Thou wilt be
taken before St. John's Day; and so it must
be; do not trouble thyself about it; be re-
signed. God will help thee.' "
" Before this had not your Voices told you
that you would be taken prisoner?"
" Yes, many times and nearly every day.
And I asked of my Voices, that, when I should
be taken I might die soon, without long suffer-
ing in prison ; and they said to me : ' Be re-
signed to all — thus it must be.' Often I asked
to know the hour but they never told me."
They wondered if she had any warning be-
fore being taken at Compiegne. She told them
without any reserve:
" That day I did not know at all that I should
be taken, and I had no command to go forth;
but they always told me it was necessary for
BLESSED JOAN OF ARC. 221
me to be taken prisoner. If I had known the
hour when I should be taken, I would not have
gone forth of my own free will; I should al-
ways have obeyed their commands in the end,
whatever might happen to me."
They asked her did she not think her Saints
deceived her, seeing she was now in prison and
in danger of death. She answered like a theo-
" I think, as it has pleased our Lord, that it
is for my well-being that I was taken pris-
And again at another time in answer to a
" St. Catherine has told me that I shall have
help. I do not know if this will be to be de-
livered from prison, or if, whilst I am being
tried, some disturbance may happen by which
I shall be delivered. The help will come to
me, one way or another. My Voices have told
me I shall be delivered, by a great victory;
and they add : ' Be resigned ; have no care for
thy martyrdom ; thou shalt come in the end to
the Kingdom of Paradise.' They have told me
this simply, absolutely and without fail. What
is meant by my martrydom is the pain and
adversity that I suffer in prison ; I do not know
if I shall have still greater sufferings to bear;
for that I refer me to God."
222 BLESSED JOAN OF ARC.
" Since your Voices told you that you would
come in the end to Paradise, have you felt
assured of being saved, and of not being
damned in Hell?"
" I believe firmly what my Voices told me,
that I shall be saved; I believe it as firmly as
if I were already there."
" Do you believe that you cannot yet com-
mit mortal sin ? "
"I do not know; and in all things I wait
on Our Lord."
" That is an answer of great weight."
" Yes, and one which I hold for a great
Then other things bothered them to know.
In what lay the secret of her amazing success
with that small, half -demoralized and hitherto
cowed band of men called the French army?
Was her sword specially blessed to be invinci-
ble? Did her banner bear magic spells from
demon or angel? Was the charm in her armor,
or her soldier's dress, or in the two rude rings
she wore when they captured her, and which
they promptly took from her. Unlike Samp-
son, there was no Delilah to worm the secrets
for them. They must get them from herself
and they started in once more to do so.
" Why did you throw yourself from the top
of the tower at Beaurevoir ? "
BLESSED JOAN OF ARC. 223
" I had heard that the people of Compiegne,
all, to the age of seven years, were to be put
to the sword; and I would rather have died
than live after such a destruction of good peo-
ple. That was one of the reasons. The other
was, that I knew I was sold to the English;
and I had rather die than be in the hands of
the English. * » * By the fall I was so in-
jured I could not eat nor drink. But I was
consoled by St. Catherine, who told me to
confess and beg pardon of God; and without
fail those at Compiegne would have relief
before St. Martin's Day in the winter. Then I
began to recover and to eat and was cured."
But surely she was a public sinner. They
summed up for her several things she did.
Her leap from Beaurevoir, her taking the
Bishop's horse at Senlis, her attack on Paris
on the Blessed Virgin's feast day, her allowing
a prisoner of war to be put to death at one
time and then asked, was she not in mortal
She explained seriatim her justification in
each case of those they named and then said:
"I do not believe that I am in mortal sin;
and if I have been it is for God to know it
and for the priest in confession."
They asked her if she would submit to the
judgment of the Church, her alleged sins
224 BLESSED JOAN OP ARC.
against the faith, and the nature of her Voices.
By " the Church " they meant themselves —
the little clique of Anglo-Burgundian clerics
in Paris and Eouen, headed by Cauchon, who
was a bishop driven from his own see of Beau-
vais by his own people because of his English
politics; and who hoped to be made by English
influence, Archbishop of Rouen. Joan, coun-
seled as she was by the spirit of Truth, knew
well enough how to distinguish between this
body and the Church. They had refused to
refer her case to Rome.
" Will you refer yourself to the decision of
" I refer myself to God Who sent me, to
Our Lady, and to all the saints in Paradise.
And in my opinion it is all one, God and the
Church; and one should make no difiBculty
about it. Why do you make a diflSculty?"
" Will you submit your words and actions
to the decision of the Church ? "
" My words and deeds are all in God's hands ;
in all, I wait upon Him. I assure you I would
say or do nothing against the Christian Faith ;
in case I have done or said anything which
might be on my soul, and which the clergy
could say was contrary to the Christian Faith,
established by Our Lord, I would not maintain
it, and would put it away."
BLESSED JOAN OF ARC. 225
That was sensible and humble and any-
thing but a bold contumacious answer, but they
made contumacy out of it, in the summing up.
" There is a Church Triumphant in which are
God and the Saints, the Angels and the souls
of the saved. There is another Church, the
Church Militant, in which are the Pope, the
Vicar of God on earth, the Cardinals, Prelates
of the Church, the clergy and all good Chris-
tians and Catholics ; this Church, regularly as-
sembled, cannot err, being ruled by the Holy
Spirit. Will you refer yourself to this Church
which we have thus just defined to you?"
" I came to the King of France from God,
from the Blessed Virgin Mary, from all the
Saints of Paradise, and the Church Victorious,
and by their command. To this Church I sub-
mit all my good deeds, all I have done or will
do. As to saying whether I will submit my-
self to the Church Militant, I will now answer
" Does it not seem to you that you are
bound to reply more fully to our Lord the
Pope, the Vicar of God?"
" Let me be taken before the Pope and I will
answer before him all I ought to answer."
They did not like that and immediately
switched off to her banner, trying to draw
from her when or how the charms were put
226 BLESSED JOAN OF ARC.
upon it that made it victorious. But its whole
history did not include any blessings or incan-
tations more than any banner ever bore in
" Why, then, was it placed alone of all the
banners near the altar, in prominence and
honor, at the crowning of the King? "
And her answer is revered to this day as a
" It had shared the pain, it was only right
that it should share the honor."
The appearances of the saints, their size and
clothing and speech, and familiarity with her,
were gone over at great length, Joan always
reserving such items of information as she
deemed unnecessary to tell.
" Do St. Catherine and St. Margaret hate the
" They love what God loves ; they hate what
"Does God hate the English?"
" Of the love or hate God may have for the
English, or of what he will do for their souls,
I know nothing; but I know quite well that
they will be put out of France, except those
who shall die here, and that God will send
victory to the French against the English."
" Was God for the English when they were
prospering in France?"
BLESSED JOAN OP ARC. 227
" I do not know if God hated the French ; but
I believe that He wished them to be defeated
for their sins, if they were in sin."
" You have no need to confess, as you believe
by the revelation of your Voices that you will
" If I were in mortal sin I think St. Cather-
ine and St. Margaret would abandon me at
once; but one cannot cleanse one's conscience
She was asked how she knew the saints and
angels she saw and spoke to, were angels and
She told them very simply that she knew and
believed them to be what they said they were,
and the good results of their counsels con-
firmed her. The Voices came to her every day,
even now, in her prison and the results of their
visits are courage and peace and devotion to
the will of God.
Her male attire was a sore point. They gave
whole days to pumping her as to just why
she put it on and just why she would not put
it off. To both of which she gave them answer
that by God's command she put it on, and only
by His command would she put it off. It was
in a way the insignia of her mission against
the English. Besides while she was in prison
she needed it for modesty and safety. She had
228 BLESSED JOAN OF ARC.
begged to be allowed to hear Mass, but her
jailers protested that it would never do to
insult God by hearing Mass in so unbecoming
a dress. She begged a woman's dress then to
hear Mass in, though she protested " this dress
does not weigh upon my soul, and is not con-
trary to the laws of the Church."
Indeed the council of bishops at Poitiers
had decided at the very begitining, that as Joan
had a man's work to do it was proper she
should wear man's dress for greater conveni-
Still harassed about it, she said finally:
" Give me a woman's dress to go and rejoin
my mother; I will take it that I may get out
of prison, because when I am outside I will
consider as to what I should do. I desire
ardently to hear Mass, and in the dress in
which I am. It is not in my power to change
All this is but a small part of the questions
and answers that filled nine days' close work
between Joan and her judges; but it covers
the main points, for much of it was repetition
of former questions, and the same questions
asked over again in different ways, trying to
trip and bewilder Joan and make her contra-
dict herself. As it was, they made contradic-
tion out of the many things she said about the
BLESSED JOAN OF ARC. 229
" sign " to her king, though, knowing the truth
now, the reader will discover that all the dif-
ferent allegories employed by her fit it equally
Joan always distinguished between the Bur-
gundians and the English. The former were
Frenchmen and must be brought back to their
true allegiance. The English, however, must
" Do you mean to say that God and the
Saints are for war and bloodshed ? "
" God and the Saints are for peace among
men. The Burgundians must make peace with
their lawful sovereign. For the English there
is no peace but to go home."
And none of the answers offended against
Catholic theology though it was the hope of the
questioners that she would sin against Faith,
none of them proved or even quibbled about
the fairies, or sorcery in any shape. Joan first
and last, in plain language, disclaimed any
connection between her Voices and the fairy
tree of Domremy, and her discernment against
superstition and witchery was decided and
outspoken. Yet they saddled her with ac-
knowledgments of witchcraft.
After the nine days' harrowing of the girl
the records read :
On the following Saturday, March 24, in the
230 BLESSED JOAN OF ARC.
prison of Jeanne, Maitre Jean Delafontaine,
Commissioner for Us, the Bishop, and Brother
Jean Lemaitre; assisted by J. Beaupere, N.
Midi, P. Maurice, G. Feuillet, Thomas de Cour-
celles, Anguerrand de Champrond.
In presence of the above-mentioned, We
caused to be read to Jeanne the Eegister,
which contained the questions made to her and
her answers. This reading was made in the
presence of the said Jeanne, and in the French
language, by G. Manchon, Eegister.
The reading of the Eegister being finished, she
" I believe certainly to have so spoken as it
is written in the Eegister, and as has been
read ; I do not contradict on any point."
And now they were ready for the real trial.
Hitherto they were just gathering, from the
captive, the material for a formal charge.
Next day was Palm Sunday, and early in the
morning Bishop Cauchon and his aids of the
day before, presented themselves to Joan in
her prison, telling her they were so moved by
her great desire, often expressed, to hear Mass
as to oflfer her that privilege if she would con-
sent to put off her male attire and dress as
became a woman of her birthplace.
They spent some time arguing with her
BLESSED JOAN OF ARC. 231
about it, to all their urging she sadly but
firmly asserted it was not in her power to
change her dress yet, much as she wanted to
hear Mass and especially on the next Sunday
" I cannot change my dress," she said,
" though indeed this dress or any dress is of
Again the Records read :
Of all the preceding. Master Jean d'Estivet,
Promoter, hath asked that there be delivered
to him a Public Instrument, in the presence
of the Lords and Masters, Adam Hillet, Wil-
liam Brolbster, and Pierre Orient of the clergy
of Rouen, London and Chalons respectively.
This was done on this Palm Sunday. The
next morning, in Cauchon's house, the Pro-
moter presented to the Bishop and his council
the petition for the trial, and on Tuesday
presented the text of the accusation against
Joan. This accusation consisted of seventy
articles made up mostly from the preconceived
notions of Cauchon, but ostensibly from the
testimony of Joan herself. With great for-
mality, and in the presence of thirty-eight
judges assembled in the great hall of War-
wick's Castle, Thomas de Courcelles read the
act of accusation to Joan, the seventy articles,
one by one, pausing at the end of each for her
232 BLESSED JOAN OF ARC.
answer or protest or agreement as the case
The burden of these seventy articles of ac-
cusation against Joan and her replies, will be
the subject of our next chapter.
"I would rather die than be In the hands of the English."
Foe the sixth time, on March 3d, in the
great hall of the Earl of Warwick's Castle of
Rouen, Joan of Arc was brought early in the
morning to find Bishop Cauchon and forty-
one, of the previous fifty-eight Assessors wait-
ing for her. A half hour was as usual spent
trying to surprise her, and, failing that, to
force her into taking an unconditional oath
to answer everything. Joan held out and at
last was allowed to take oath " with her hands
on the Holy Gospels " to answer all questions
" touching the trial."
She had in one examination mentioned St,
Michael's wings, but in another she said she
did not know if St. Catherine and St. Mar-
garet had limbs — she only looked at their
beautiful faces and heads. The judges began
by cross-questioning her about the physical
appearances of the Saints.
" I have told you what I know. I saw St.
Michael and those two Saints so well that I
know they are Saints of Paradise."
234 BLESSED JOAN OP ARC.
" Did you see anything else of them but the
" To tell you all I know I would rather that
you made me cut my throat. All that I know
touching the trial I will tell you willingly."
How often and often she had to use that
same phrase " on everything touching the
trial " during the few months before her death !
The ignorant young girl having to keep a great
bench full of Canon law doctors to the letter of
the law ! But she could not. They probed her
secrets and made her lay bare her great, brave
heart for their cruel curiosity — not their pity
Again they return to catch her contradicting
herself about the Saints. " Do you think that
St. Gabriel and St. Michael have human
" Yes, I saw them with my eyes."
" Did God create them from the first in this
form and fashion?"
What a question to a child from theologians !
But Joan was able for them :
" You will have no more on that at present
than what I have answered." They gave it up
and changed the subject
" Do you know by revelation if you will
" That does not touch on your Case. Do
BLESSED JOAN OF ARC. 235
you wish me to speak against myself? If all
concerned you I would tell you all. By my
faith, I know neither the day nor the hour
that I shall escape."
" Have your Voices told you anything in a
" Yes, truly, they have told me that I shall
be delivered, but I know neither the day nor
the hour. They said to me : ' Be of good cour-
age and keep a cheerful countenance ! ' "
Then a dozen questions followed about her
military dress — when she adopted it and by
whose advice. Questions she had answered
a dozen times and would be asked again an-
other dozen times and more. She told them
all they needed to know without satisfying
their curiosity as to just how, and when, and
by whom, was she told to adopt it. About
being asked to take it off she admitted :
" Yes, truly, I was asked to take it off ; and
I answered that I would not take it ofiE with-
out leave from God. The Demoiselle de Lux-
embourg and the Lady de Beaurevoir offered
to me a woman's dress, or cloth to make one,
telling me to wear it. I answered that I had
not leave from Our Lord and that it was not
time. Messire Jeane de Pressy and others at
Arras, offered to get me woman's dress."
" Do you think you would have done wrong
236 BLESSED JOAN OF ARC.
or committed mortal sin by taking a woman's
" I did better to obey and serve my Sovereign
Lord, who is God. Had I dared to do it, I
would sooner have done it at the request of
these ladies than of any other in France, ex-
cepting my Queen."
" When God revealed to you that you should
change your dress, was it by the voice of St.
Michael, St. Catherine or St. Margaret?"
" You shall have nothing more from me
about it at present."
And they never got from her any more par-
ticulars of how she was told to change her
dress than that it was by God's command.
They turned now to her banner, hoping to
prove the spells and enchantment woven round
it. They tried to get it out of her that others
had banners just like hers because she told
them to copy hers for good luck.
" What I told my followers was ' go in boldly
against the English ' and I did it myself."
" Did you or they put Holy Water on the
" I know nothing of it."
" Have you not carried cloth around the
Church, in procession, and then had it made
into pennons? "
"No! and I have never seen it done."
BLESSED JOAN OF ARC. 237
There was no grist to their mill in that kind
of testimony so they turned from her dress
and her banners to herself personally. If she
claimed honors and homage for herself she was
" Did you not cause paintings of yourself
to be made? "
" I saw at Arras a painting in the hands of
a Scot; it was like me. I was represented
fully armed, presenting a letter to my King,
one knee on the ground. I have never seen
any other image or painting in my likeness
nor had one made."
" Do you know that the people of your party
had Mass, services, and prayers offered for
" I know nothing of it ; if they had it was
not by my order; but if they prayed for me,
my opinion is they did not do ill."
" Did those of your party firmly believe that
you were sent from God ? "
" I do not know if they believed it, and in
this I refer to their own feeling in the matter.
But even though they do not believe, yet am I
sent from God."
" Do you not think they have a good belief,
if they believe this?"
" If they think that I am sent from God,
they will not be deceived."
238 BLESSED JOAN OF ARC.
" In what spirit did the people of your party
kiss your hands and feet?"
" Many came to see me but they kissed my
hands as little as I could help. The poor came
to me readily, because I never did them an
unkindness, on the contrary I loved to help
" What honor did the people of Troyes do
you on your entry ? "
" None at all."
" Were you many days at Rheims? "
" Five or six, I believe."
"Did you not act there as God-mother?"
" At Troyes, I did. At Rheims I do not re-
member, nor at Chateau-Thierry. I was God-
mother twice at St. Denis. Usually I give to
the boys the name Charles in honor of my
King; and to the girls, Jeanne. At other times
such names as pleased the mothers."
" Did not the good women of the town touch
with their rings one that you wore?"
" Many women touched my hands and my
rings ; but I know nothing of their feelings nor
" Who of your people caught butterflies in
your s tandard ? "
"My people never did such a thing; it is
your side who have invented it."
" When you were going through the country
BLESSED JOAN OP ARC. 239
did you often receive the sacrament of Pen-
ance and the Eucharist in the good towns?"
" And in man's dress? "
" Why did you take the horse of the Bishop
" It was bought for 200 saluts (about
|1,000). I do not know if he received the
money. There was a place fixed at which it
was to be paid. I wrote to him he might
have his horse back if he wished. As for me,
I did not wish it; it was worth nothing for
Notwithstanding this straightforward and
evidently fair statement, the horse of the
Bishop of Senlis was a large item in the
charges against her -as summed up later. Sud-
denly the scene was shifted :
" It is reported you brought a dead child to
life at Lagny. How old was the child you
visited at Lagny?"
" Three days old. It was brought before an
image of Our Lady. The young girls of the
village were praying before this image, that
God might restore the infant. She had not
been baptized. I prayed with them. At last
life returned to the child, it yawned three
times and was baptized ; soon after it died and
240 BLESSED JOAN OP ARC.
was buried in consecrated ground. It had
been three days dead and was black as my
" Did they not say in the village that it was
through your prayers it was restored ? "
" I did not enquire about it."
Well, there was no self-gloriflcation nor pre-
sumption proven there. But did she not try
to commit suicide and failing in her effort, did
she not get angry, curse and blaspheme?
" Were you not a long time in the Tower of
Beaurevoir ? "
" About four months. When I knew the
English were coming to take me, I was angry,
nevertheless my Voices forbade me to leap.
But in the end full of the fear of the English,
I did leap after commending myself to God and
Our Lady. I was wounded. After I had
leaped the Voice of St. Catherine bade me be
of good cheer, for Compiegne would have suc-
cor. I had prayers for the relief of Compiegne,
with my Counsel."
" Did you not say that you would rather die
than be in the hands of the English?"
" I said I would rather give up my soul to
God than be in the hands of the English."
" Were you not very angry to the extent of
blaspheming the name of God ? "
" I have never blasphemed. It is not my
BLESSED JOAN OF ARC. 241
habit to swear. Those who say so have mis-
There was no arrangement for another day
recorded at the end of that day's examination.
Cauchon was angry. The trial thus far gave
him no satisfaction. Among the Assessors,
new friends of Joan appeared each day. As
they listened to the " grueling," or took pari:
in it, they were edified with the brave, honest
front she presented to them. They found her
womanly and soldierly in the glimpses of her
public and private life wrung from her by her
enemies. By look and word and gesture they
let their sympathy with Joan be known, to
the great chagrin of Cauchon and his English
backers. Clearly this could not go on. The
object of the trial was to prove that all her
acts of valor, her prophecies, her victories,
were inspired and aided by Beelzebub: Her
Saints were merely hallucinations of a dis-
eased mind or inventions of a depraved one.
Her courage was brazen audacity. Her piety
was blasphemous hypocrisy. Her power to
sway men to her way of thinking was sorcery.
Her victories on a score of great occasions
were due to the aid of the powers of darkness.
He who thought otherwise was of no use in
So Cauchon who had been noting his col-
242 BLESSED JOAN OF ARC.
leagues, chose a few of his own color from
among the great array of legal talent he had
gathered around him; out of the seventy not
more than seven, and dismissed the rest with
great show of thanks for their pains, etc. He
decreed that " if any further inquiries are
thought necessary they shall be made hence-
forth in private."
The official document reads:
" Sunday, March 4th, and the Monday,
Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday,
5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, and 9th, of the same month,
We, the Bishop, assembled in Our dwelling,
many grave doctors and masters in law, sacred
and civil, who were charged by us to collect
all that has been confessed or answered by
Jeanne in these Enquiries, and to extract there-
from the points on which she answered in an
incomplete manner, and which seem to these
doctors susceptible of further examination."
During the five days these chosen few French
accomplices of English animosity to the Maid
of Orleans, the great stumbling block to Eng-
lish aggression in Europe, met and went over
the evidence drawn from Joan so far. They
sifted it over and over. They picked out of it
and twisted to their own design what suited
them, rejecting everything that could not
be made to tell against Joan from their point
BLESSED JOAN OF ARC. 243
of view. Wherever a damaging meaning could
be construed into a word or phrase or sen-
tence they so construed it.
Coolly throwing over the work of the past
month, and of the sixty or more learned judges
he had gathered to aid him in it, but whose
sympathy for Joan angered him, Cauchon
planned a new trial. It was to be strictly pri-
vate and only a chosen few were to aid him in
worrying their prey, and framing some plausi-
ble excuse for a public and ignominious death,
that would please his English masters, strike
terror into the French party, and avenge the
insult put upon himself when he was driven
from his See of Beauvais.
On the tenth of March the secret trial was
begun. The Bishop and his accomplices went
to Joan's prison. Bishop Cauchon, Master
Jean Delafontaine, and two Doctors in The-
ology, Nicholas Midi and Gerard Feuillet. As
witnesses they brought a lawyer, Jean Fecard,
and a priest, Jean Massieu.
They had Joan now at close quarters, with
no likely obstruction to their own peculiar
method of harrowing the poor soul; and for
nine more days, with no intermission, morning
and afternoon, they closed around her, hungry,
weary, and lonely, as she was, and put her
through a series of questions and cross-quee-
244 BLESSED JOAN OF ARC.
tions about things she had a hundred times
said she would not tell. They would double
back one day on what she said the day before,
trying to prove to her that she admitted cer-
tain damaging things, and then simulate great
horror at her duplicity in denying them.
It was a most cruel proceeding all through,
but it is interesting to us now because in it the
heart and soul of this wonderful woman were
wrenched open, as it were, and laid bare to the
world and God's providence singularly proved.
Some of it shall be the burden of the succeeding
Joan keeps the King's secret — defends her male attire—
and refuses to aclinowledge the authority of her judges.
Article I of the seventy that formed the Act
of Accusation against Joan, was really a sort
of preamble setting forth that according to
Divine and Canon and Civil Law, the Bishop
and the Inquisitor of the Faith were in duty
bound to drive out of the Kingdom of France
all heresies and witchcraft and crimes against
the Faith; and to punish all offenders against
the Faith, lay or cleric, " whatever be their
estate, sex, quality, and pre-eminence," and
whether they committed the crimes in Bishop
Canchon's diocese or any part of France, he
was competent to judge them.
It was long and wordy and in the stilted,
legal phraseology of those times; but above is
the substance of it as it comes down to us and
after it came the question, which was repeated
ceremoniously after every one of the seventy
articles as they were read to Joan, one by one,
in a loud voice and in the French tongue, by
Thomas de Courcelles :
246 BLESSED JOAN OF ARC.
" What have jou to say to this article?"
" I believe surely that our Lord, the Pope
of Rome, the Bishops, and the other clergy, are
established to guard the Christian Faith and
punish those who are found wanting therein,
but as for me, for my doings, I submit myself
to the Heavenly Church — that is to say to God,
to the Virgin Mary, and to the Saints in Para-
dise. I firmly believe I have not wavered in
the Christian Faith, nor would I ever."
Article II accused Joan, " not only this year,
but from her infancy," not only in Bishop
Cauchon's diocese, but many other places, of
having " composed, contrived and ordained a
number of sacrileges and superstitions; she
made herself a diviner; she caused herself to
be adored and venerated; she invoked demons
and evil spirits; consulted them, associated
with them, made and had with them compacts,
treaties, conventions," etc., and caused others
to do the same. Not only that but maintained
that all that sorcery, etc., was not a sin, on
the contrary, commendable, and ended with the
climax that in all this horror, she was caught
at " in the limits, Bishop, of your diocese of
As if that gave him perfect warrant to do
his worst towards her. To all of which Joan
entered a denial in toto.
BLESSED JOAN OF ARC. 247
Article III charged her with promulgating
doctrines contrary to the Church.
Article IV went over her early life and how
her godmother taught her intercourse with the
fairies and evil spirits according to her own
Joan in answer said : " As to the fairies, I
do not know what they are. As to my teach-
ing — I learnt to believe, and have been brought
up well and duly to do what a good child ought
Articles V, VI, VII, still further elaborated
about the fairies and the horrible superstitions
and were simply denied by Joan.
Articles VIII, IX, X, accused her of leaving
home and living with bad women, and getting
acquainted with soldiers, learning to ride
horses and swear, and finally hauling a young
man to court to force him to marry her, which
he refused to do because she had been con-
nected with bad women.
Article XI accused her of boasting she
would yet have three sons (by the Holy
The next six articles lugubriously described
her vile adoption of the dress of a man and her
stubborn refusal to put it off, even to hear
Mass, or receive Our Saviour's Body on Easter
248 BLESSED JOAN OF ARC.
" If you refuse to let me hear Mass, it is in
the power of Our Lord to let me hear Mass
without you, when it shall please Him. I
make no difference between man's dress and
woman's dress for receiving my Saviour."
Article XVIII charged Joan with inciting
to murder and bloodshed inasmuch as she pre-
vented Charles VII making peace with the
English. What had she to say?
" As to my Lord of Burgundy, I requested
him by my ambassadors and my letters that
he would make peace between the King and
himself; but as to the English, the peace they
need is that they may go away to their own
country, to England."
Thirty of the seventy articles were read to
her that day, her reply to each in turn being
duly recorded. The replies were mostly de-
nials of the sorcery and insubordination to
the Church and reference to former answers.
Early next day they were all assembled again
and the remaining forty articles read to Joan
accusing her of, as usual, dealing with demons,
setting herself up for divine honors, unwoman-
liness in dress, and boldness in her claims to
know only what God may know. To all of
which her answers were simple and short and
to the point; never taking back anything she
iever said; always protesting her humble and
BLESSED JOAN OF AEC. 249
thorough adhesion to the Church and the
Faith; and always stoutly maintaining that
she was sent directly by God to the aid of the
French King and the French people.
Article XXXV read : " Jeanne hath boasted
and affirmed that she did know how to dis-
cern those whom God loveth and those whom
He hateth. What have you to say on this
" I know well that God, for their well being,
loves my King and the Duke of Orleans better
than me. I know this by revelation. Of others
I know not."
Another article flatly accuses her of acting
against the counsel of her Voices, so she was
wrong in not obeying as well as in listening
to and obeying them. Another read:
" Jeanne hath said and published that the
Saints, the Angels, and the Archangels speak
the French language and not the English lan-
guage, because the Saints, the Angels, and the
Archangels are not on the side of the English,
but of the French; she hath outraged the
Saints in glory, in implying to them a mortal
hatred against a Catholic realm and a nation
devoted, according to the will of the Church,
to the veneration of all the Saints."
Jeanne, tired and annoyed as she was,
smiled at the jealousy implied in the accusa-
250 BLESSED JOAN OF ARC.
tion. She might have answered that the Saints
spoke to her in the only tongue she understood,
but she only said :
" I rely upon God and upon what I replied
before to this."
Indeed, to nearly all the accusations and the
" What have you to say to this ? " her answer
" I have replied to that already."
And so their badgering efforts to make her
contradict herself always failed.
" Jeanne is not afraid to lie in court, and to
violate her own oath when on the subject of
" Jeanne hath labored to scandalize the peo-
ple, to induce them to believe in her talk,
taking to herself the authority of God and His
"Jeanne hath abused the revelations and
prophecies that she saith she hath had from
God, to procure for herself lucre and temporal
" She hath denied making certain predic-
tions because they were not realized, though
many people of trust report to have heard her
" Jeanne doth behave unseemly with men,
and refuses the society of women."
With phrases like these began each each
BLESSED JOAN OF ARC. 251
article and the rest of the article contains the
statement of facts to prove the accusation.
To all of which Jeanne made denial or else
simply referred to her former answers to the
Article Seventy lied the boldest of all for it
" All and each of these propositions con-
tained in these Articles are true, notorious
and manifest; the accused hath recognized
and acknowledged these things as true, many
times and suflSciently, before witnesses proved
and worthy of belief, in and out of court."
Poor Jeanne's ears were full of these vile
accusations against her and her heart sore
(only that the Holy Spirit was sustaining her)
at the overwhelming power and numbers and
persistency of her enemies and their evident
hatred of her this Wednesday of Holy Week in
the year 1431.
She knew now they were thirsting for her
death. The Seventy Articles were a jumble of
every crime against God and man. But she
did not lose her head nor her courage. She
gave them no satisfaction. The ofScial record
for this day ends thus:
" We, the Bishop, did then address to Jeanne
a Canonical Admonition. We told her that all
the Assessors were persons of consummate
252 BLESSED JOAN OF ARC.
knowledge, experts in law, human and divine,
who desired and intended to proceed against
her, as they had already done up to this time,
with kindness and piety, and that, far from
seeking vengeance or punishment, they desired,
on the contrary, only her instruction and re-
turn into the way of truth and salvation."
And then he offered to appoint counsel to
plead her cause for her.
" To our exhortations Jeanne replied : ' As
to that on which you admonish me for my good
and for our Faith, I thank you and all the
company also; as to the counsel which you
offer me, also I thank you; but I have no in-
tention of desisting from the counsel of Our
Cauchon was not pleased with the answer,
and the more he thought it over the less and
less pleased was he. Joan had never for one
moment directly or impliedly, acknowledged
his right to try her or judge her, and it was not
at all clear that she recognized the tribunal
over which he sat, as the voice of the Church.
That was a point to clear up and insist upon.
It must be made plain that it was the Church
she was opposing. Accordingly, on Saturday,
Easter Eve, he and his little crowd of tor-
mentors presented themselves before Joan in
her prison again.
BLESSED JOAN OF ARC. 203
" Will you refer yourself to the judgment of
the Church on earth for all you have said or
done, be it good or bad? Especially will you
refer to the Church the cases, crimes, and of-
fenses which are imputed to you and every-
thing which touches on this trial? * * • if
the Church Militant tells you that your reve-
lations are illusions, or diabolical things, will
you defer to the Church ? "
" I will defer to God whose commandment
I always do. I know well that that which is
contained in my Case has come to me by the
command of God. What I afflrm in the Case
is, that I have acted by the order of God; it
is impossible for me to say otherwise. In case
the Church should prescribe the contrary, I
should not refer to any one in the world, but
to God alone whose commandment I always
Cauchon was furious. She must be made to
acknowledge his right to condemn her visions
as illusions and her subsequent acts as diaboli-
" Do you not believe that you are subject to
the Church of God which is on earth, that is
to say to our Lord the Pope, to the Cardinals,
the Archbishops, Bishops, and other prelates
of the Church? "
254 BLESSED JOAN OP ARC.
"Yes, I believe myself subject to them;
but God must be served first."
" Have your Voices commanded you not to
submit to the Church Militant, which is on
earth, nor to its decisions?"
" I answer nothing from my own head ; what
I answer is by command of my Voices; they
do not order me to disobey the Church, but
God must be served first."
Cauchon retired to cogitate again the simple
wisdom of this " Daughter of God " so fear-
Meanwhile the Earl of Warwick and the
Duke of Bedford in the name of the boy king
were impatient with Cauchon. In other parts
of France the French troops were gaining on
the English. The Duke of Burgundy was
showing less and less interest in his English
allies. It was known that Joan was on trial
and the fame of her, the fine courage she
showed the English even in her chains was
abroad. Many of the assessors were weaken-
ing in their antagonism to her. Cauchon must
hurry and do something tangible. Easter
Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, a commit-
tee sat on the Seventy Arcticles and boiled
them down to twelve without altering the
vicious substance nor the bitter spirit of them.
Copies of the Twelve Articles were sent to
BLESSED JOAN OF ARC. £55
each of the assessors, most of whom had gone
back to Paris for Easter. Thej were warned
to read them at once and give their judgment
on them as early as possible; and not later
than April 10. Easter Sunday was on April 1
On the 18th of April the whole band trailed
after Cauchon again to the prison of Joan
to get her to say something that would look
like acknowledgment of their right as " the
Church " to judge her. They found her very
ill, and she piteously appealed to them that
she might have the Sacraments, and if it
pleased God she should die, that she would
have burial in consecrated ground.
Now they thought they had her.
They seized on her eagerness for the Sacra-
ments and for Christian burial to scare her
into accedance to their wishes. They declared
if she would not submit to the Church, the
Church must abandon her as an infidel. She
assured them she believed in the Christian
Faith ; in the divine revelation of the Holy
Scriptures; that she loved God and would die
a Christian, but she could make no other an-
swer to their demands than she had made.
She must leave the rest to God. Balked again
they were and badly. But they had no notion
of letting her die thus. The best doctor was
256 BLESSED JOAN OF ARC.
sent to her, and told to cure her ; that the King
of England had bought her too dearly to let
her die quietly and privately. She must be
publicly burned at the stake. The English
Cardinal and the Earl of Warwick together
visited her and admonished the doctor to do his
best; and he did, and Joan was cured of the
fever that had attacked her, so that by the 2d
of May she was able to face her judges once
more assembled in the great hall of the Castle.
The meeting had been in session some time
without her, listening to Cauchon's summing
up of the whole case, in which he represented
how he and his assistant assessors had gently
tried to win her from her devilishness, but
without avail. But once more they were going
to admonish her and for this purpose " an an-
cient master in theology, very learned and sin-
gularly well versfed in these affairs, Maitre
Jean de Chatillon, Archdeacon of Evreux ''
was invited "to try his powers of persuasion on
Joan was then brought before the assembly
and told why she was sent for. The Lord
Archdeacon was invited to proceed. He did,
reading at first from manuscript describing
the unity and beauty of the Church and the
necessity of abiding by her rules for the gov-
ernment of the faithful. And then he be-
BLESSED JOAN OP ARC. 257
seeched her, with fervent voice and gesture, to
listen to the gentle Bishops and Judges, here
present, who had her soul's safety on their
consciences, etc., etc. But Joan had only the
one answer for him as for the others.
" I rely on God, who caused me to do all
these things. * * * If I saw the fire I should
say nothing different."
They assailed her again and again, repre-
senting her as defying and denying the Church
" I believe that the Church Militant cannot
err or fail; but as to my words and deeds, I
submit them and refer them all to God, who
caused me to do what I have done."
Finally, in desperation, they forgot them-
selves and asked her: "Will you submit to
our Holy Father the Pope?"
" Take me to him, I will reply to him."
Canonists then and since and now regard
this as an appeal to the Pope — informal but
valid — and her legal right, if there had been
any legality at all in her trial by Cauchon,
which there was not.
One of the assessors reminded Joan that
there was a council of prelates siting at Basle
just then, in which prelates of her party were
as numerous as the others, and asked would
she be willing to let her case go to them.
258 BLESSED JOAN OF ARC.
Yes, if there were true French prelates in
the council, she would submit her case to them,
she said. But Cauchon quickly changed the
subject, telling the Judge, who offered the
suggestion to mind his own business, " in the
The whole day's strenuous efforts of that
big band of theologians failed to get anything
different from Joan, and in disgust, and
wearied, even more than she was, they ordered
her back to prison.
That day week they returned to the charge.
They assembled this time in the torture
chamber of the castle. All the instruments
were there in front of her and then they told
her they could force her to tell the truth and
acknowledge her sorceries. The executioners
were standing ready at a word to force her
back into ways of truth and salvation. But
they did not scare Joan. Her pale face was a
shade paler, and her poor bound hands clasped
her chains convulsively; but she said bravely,
yet quietly and slowly, as if half to herself:
" Truly, if you tear me limb from limb, and
separate soul from body, I will tell you noth-
ing else; and if I were to say anything else,
I should always afterwards declare that you
made me say it by force. Last Thursday I
received comfort from St. Gabriel, and I asked
BLESSED JOAN OP ARC. 259
counsel of my Voices, if I ought to submit
because the clergy were pressing me hard. I
asked of my Voices if I should be burned,
and they answered me : ' Wait on Our Lord,
He will help thee.' "
The judges " seeing the manner of her re-
plies, and her obdurate mind, and feeling that
the agony of torture would not do her any
good, postponed the torture until they had
further counsel." She was sent back to prison
and they took counsel together. Three of
them were for putting her on the rack to
" break her stubbornness." Eleven were of the
opinion it would do no good, seeing she might
retract, as she said she would, and fearing also
in the state of her health, she might not sur-
vive it, and the King of England wanted a
There was, then, a week's rest all around,
while the reply from the University of Paris
was awaited. It came. The twelve Articles
had been duly considered and the decision was
that Joan's St. Michael, St. Catherine and
St. Margaret were really Belial, Satan and
Behemoth; Joan a crafty traitor and liar and
heretic. But they advised still further gentle
admonitions. On May 23d, Pierre Maurice
brought her the compliments of the University
260 BLESSED JOAN OF ARC.
and a lengthy exhortation to save her life and
her soul by telling the truth.
" If I saw the fire lit, if I were in the flames,
I would say no other thing than I have said,"
was Joan's answer, which as the recorder
wrote down he characterized in a marginal
note as " Jeanne's superb answer."
Pierre Maurice was a Canon of the Cathedral
of Rouen and he and the Rouen clergy in the
trial were all sorry for Joan, and in no hurry
to send her to the stake, but the English Lords
were, and gave Cauchon no peace.
Then the Judges announced that they could
delay sentence and punishment no longer, and
declared the Process concluded, and ordered
all to assemble again to-morrow " to hear the
law which will be laid down by Us, the Judges,
competent in this Process, and the sentence
which shall be pronounced by Us, to be after-
wards carried out and proceeded with accord-
ing to law and right."
Joan is cheated into a show of recanting.
The farce of a trial of Joan of Arc by eccle-
siastical tools of England in France was over,
and Pierre Cauchon had announced that sen-
tence would be given in the public square on
A great many people in Kouen did not sleep
that night. To be sentenced to death meant
speedy execution. A public burning at the
stake was an event of great moment. All
night workmen were busy erecting the neces-
sary platforms. One for the Bishop and his
assistants, and one for the recorders and the
accused. These were built quite close to the
walls of the Church of St. Ouen.
One canopied and carpeted and both with a
flight of steps leading up to a height just over
men's heads. About ten yards off in front of
both, was a little pyramid of stones, a stake
'rising from the midst, and bundles of dry
faggots piled around and in a separate stack
262 BLESSED JOAN OF ARC.
People going into the church to the early
Masses on the morning of the 24th of May,
1431, saw these; and as they came out again
after Mass, they saw the pot of coals at the
foot of the stake, and three executioners stand-
ing grim and stiff in waiting. In all the streets
leading to the square were streams of people,
that soon became a solid mass of dark heads
in the square.
Already the English soldiers had formed —
shoulder to shoulder — a solid wall around the
three platforms, a square within the square.
Soon the Bishop of Beauvais, Cardinal Beau-
fort of England, the Bishop of Norfolk, and
half a dozen other eminent ecclesiastics of the
English Party, filled one of the platforms —
the canopied one.
The recorder and their clerks filed into the
seats provided for them on the other platform,
and then Joan was brought, under a strong
escort, and seated in this second platform, in
full view of the judges and the multitude.
Loyseleur, the English spy, who was also a
French priest, was by her side, as if giving
counsel and comfort. But she was wearied and
worried-looking, according to all the accounts
of eye-witnesses. All night she had been tor-
mented in her prison by Loyseleur, Beaupre
and others, urging her to save herself by sub-
BLESSED JOAN OF ARC. 263
mitting to the judgment of " the Church," and
acknowledging herself wrong in the whole pro-
She had seemed to listen to them and to half
acquiesce to their demands, and now she looked
so haggard and listless, Cauchon saw his op-
portunity. Of course they had found her
guilty of numerous, most heinous crimes
against God and England, and could, without
five minutes' delay, and with religious and
legal formality, make ashes of her.
But that did not suit at all. She would die
thus a martyr and her stake would be as a pil-
lar of fire to guide and nerve the French ar-
mies, already aflame with their success against
the English pretensions.
If Joan could be made to acknowledge her-
self and her mission a fraud, then Charles VII
might feel uneasy under the crown which she
placed on his head, and the French allegiance
might be saved to the English crown.
She must be made to abjure and acknowl-
edge herself a liar and an impostor. And if
she was an impostor so was the King of
The solidity of the French throne rested on
her fame. Everything was ready for her death,
but Cauchon and his aides were not at all
ready. Beaupere had told that he believed she
264 BLESSED JOAN OF ARC.
was wavering, and so a great preacher, the
bosom friend once of the confessor of her king,
William Erard, Doctor of Divinity, was ap
pointed to preach to her once more and get her
to condemn herself publicly.
He made a most fervent appeal to her to
tell the- truth and submit to the Church. Then
he stormed at her.
" O France ! " he said, " how hast thou been
abused! Thou hast always been the home of
Christianity ; but now, Charles, who calls him-
self thy king and governor, indorses, like the
heretic and schismatic that he is, the words
and deeds of a worthless and infamous woman.
I tell you that your King is a heretic and
Joan had been a listless listener so far, but
when her King's honor was attacked, she raised
her eyes to the speaker's face and said, with
spirit, loud enough for the recorder anyhow,
who put it down faithfully :
" By my faith, sir ! I make bold to say and
swear, on pain of death, that he is the most
noble Christian of all Christians, and the best
lover of the Faith and the Church."
At last in a loud and impressive manner the
reverend preacher summoned for the last time,
the prisoner to submit to the Church. Then he
BLESSED JOAN OP ARC. 265
paused, and the whole assemblage paused, for
" As to that matter I have answered my
judges before. I have told them to report all
that I have said and done to our Holy Father,
the Pope — to whom and to God, first, I ap-
Well might Cauchon and his English backers
be furious with her now. So formal and pub-
licly expressed an appeal to the Pope, took the
case out of their hands, according to all law,
civil and ecclesiastical. This was not the sub-
mission to the Church they wanted at all.
They were all angry, and while they were
dumbfoundedly considering what next, she
gave them another thrust :
" I charge my deeds and words upon no one,
neither upon my King, nor upon any other.
If there be any fault in them, I am responsible
and no other."
" Will you recant those of your words and
deeds that have been pronounced evil by your
judges here present?"
" I submit them to God and the Pope." The
appeal to Rome repeated and so openly!
Cauchon ground his teeth for a moment;
then he explained to her that the Pope was too
far away, and that the present judges had
power and authority to deal with her case, and
266 BLESSED JOAN OP ARC.
either to burn her, or imprison her for life, or
pardon her and set her free, just as they
chose. But she must act at once and abjure;
and Erard showed her a written form he had
made out for her signature, which would
restore her to the Church, from which she was
separated by excommunication, and, " as I be-
lieve," said he, " save your life as well as your
"What is 'to abjure'?" she asked, and the
meaning of the word was explained to her.
" I appeal to the Universal Church whether
or not I ought to abjure."
" You shall abjure instantly or instantly be
burned," said Erard.
Joan's face blanched at the words, and she
looked pitifully from one to the other of the
priests and lawyers surrounding her. " God
and St. Michael counsel me ! " she cried.
Erard had his paper ready and they crowded
round her urging her. "Ah! You do not do
well to seduce me," she said, as she probably
ran over in her mind the delights of freedom.
Cauchon rose at this point to read the sen-
tence of death, the first words pealing out in
" In the name of the Lord, Amen.
" All the pastors of the Church who have it
in their hearts to watch faithfully over their
BLESSED JOAN OF ARC. 267
flocks, should, when the pernicious Sower of
Errors, works by his machinations and deceits,
etc., etc. ■"
Joan held up her hands appealingly as the
Bishop went on; and when silence was ob-
tained, she said with a moan :
" I submit."
And, repeating Loyseleur's prompting:
" I will hold all that the Church ordains,
all that you, the judges, wish to say and decree
— in all I will refer myself to your orders."
Cauchon stopped his sentence to hear her
and made her repeat, which she did, saying:
" Inasmuch as the clergy decide that the
apparitions and revelations which I have had
are not to be maintained or believed, I will not
believe nor maintain them ; in all I refer me to
you and to our Holy Mother Church ! "
Immediately Massieu was ready with the
paper for her to sign. A short paper of half
a dozen lines, as many on the platform tes-
tified to afterwards. He read it for her, and
she repeated the words after him. Then he
told her she must sign it.
Now everything was confusion. The people
who had come to see a burning were dissatis-
fied and got into rows with the people who
were glad the prisoner was to escape. The
English lords were in a tumult and one of
268 BLESSED JOAN OF ARC.
them accused Cauchon of treachery to Eng-
land. But Cauchon and Massieu and Erard
and Loyseleur knew what they were doing.
Joan was urged to sign quickly and so get
into ecclesiastical hands and out of excommu-
nication, etc., etc.
Dazed and weary she took the pen while a
secretary of the King of England held and
guided her hand, signing " Jeanne," to a paper
that was deftly substituted for the one read to
her, and which contained a detailed list of
crimes and abominations committed by her.
The Substituted Paper.
" I confess that I have most grievously
sinned, in pretending untruthfully to have
revelations and apparitions from God, from,
the Angels, from St. Margaret and St. Cather-
rine, etc. » * * l swear to my lord Saint Peter,
Prince of the Apostles, to our Holy Father the
Pope of Rome, Christ's Vicar, and his succes-
sors, and to you my Lords, the reverend Father
in God my Lord the Bishop of Beauvais, the
religious person. Brother Jean Lemaitre,
Deputy of my Lord the Inquisitor of the Faith,
as my judges, that never, will I return to the
aforesaid errors, etc., etc."
It was a long document and is still in the
BLESSED JOAN OF ARC. 269
Archives at Paris, with Joan's signature at-
But various eye-witnesses testified later that
the document read to Joan to sign was but a
matter of five or six lines for which the other
was substituted in the confusion. She was not
scrutinizing and alert as she had been. She
had in reality signed a paper confessing her-
self a liar, an impostor, a sorceress, a dealer
with devils, a blasphemer of God and His
saints. Over her signature was the promise
not to wear her soldier dress, and to wear
hair like other women, and so on. She did
not know it. She seemed too weary to care.
Then Cauchon read aloud the words dissolving
the excommunication and brought a ray of
light at last to her countenance. She smiled
and raised her eyes to heaven. The next sen-
ence dispelled that light all too quickly:
" And that she may repent of her crimes,
and repeat them no more, she is sentenced to
perpetual imprisonment, with the bread of af-
fliction and the water of anguish."
" Perpetual imprisonment ! " That was
something Joan never dreamed of. It was
never even hinted to her in all the tricks and
cruelties put upon her. It came upon her now
with an awful suddenness that crushed her.
Only for a moment. The buoyancy of youth,
270 BLESSED JOAN OF ARC.
the quick intuitions that served her so well as a
general, maybe the whisper of her Voices, came
to her relief. She remembered that she was to
be in the hands of ecclesiastics, now that she
had submitted to the ecclesiastics who judged
her. She snatched at that ray of comfort.
There was almost exultation in her voice as
she turned to Erard and said :
" Now you men of the Church take me to
your prison, and leave me no longer in the
hands of the English."
And she stood as if ready and eager to go.
Cold and cruel and deliberate came the
voice of Cauchon as her jailers looked to him
for orders :
" Take her back to the prison whence she
And for the first time since she was cap-
tured, exactly that day one year before, Joan
lost her brave, patient attitude towards her
enemies. She collapsed and had to be carried
rather than led back to the Earl of Warwick's
Castle, and to the steady companionship of the
three English boors with whom she had not
made friends in all her months of imprison-
There were anguish and tumult in Joan's
heart in that hour. There were anger and
BLESSED JOAN OF ARC. 271
tumult also in the square of St. Ouen. Hun-
dreds were glad the stake was cheated, though
they did not understand all that was done on
the two platforms that day. Hundreds were
angry that she had escaped — they did not
know why; and there were small riots every-
where. Among the English Lords and their
French tools of clergymen, there was tumult,
too. Nothing but her death by Are would
satisfy the Earl of Warwick and his fellows
and they turned on Cauchon with fury.
When the King of England formally handed
her to the care of Cauchon, it was with the
plainly expressed provision that if he did not
find her guilty of death, she was to be re-
manded back to the King of England's care.
As Cauchon failed to send her to the stake he
was out of it now, and they owed him nothing,
except blame for delaying so long with his
trials and preachings.
Cauchon's smile of congratulation is down
in every record of this day's doings. He even
rubbed his hands with glee, we are told, and
bade them be patient, he would soon satisfy
them. He and Cardinal Beaufort had their
plans and they were working beautifully.
There was only one more act in the farce, and
then the final scene would be in the hands of
the English soldiers to their own content.
272 BLESSED JOAN OF ARC.
The great meeting in the square broke up.
The platforms and the stake remained.
Cauchon and some of his clique went straight
to Joan's prison and brought her a woman's
dress, and made her put it on, and told her if
she wore any other it would be a sign of re-
lapse into her sins and would mean immediate
death to her. That was Thursday afternoon.
Joan lay like one dazed and despairing on her
cot all Friday and Saturday. Early Sunday
morning she woke from a sleep of exhaustion
and wished to get up. While she had slept her
guards had taken her woman's dress and left
in its place the forbidden costume.
Joan begged for the other, reminding them
it meant death for her to resume the male
dress. They would not give her the other, nor
any explanations as to why they would not,
and in sheer desperation, and with a calm
resignation to meet the worst and fight no
more, Joan put on the only dress, the man's
dress, she could get.
She was obliged to get up and had to cover
As if watching for the moment and knowing
it would come, Cauchon burst in upon her and
with great show of anger reproached her for
relapsing into her old sins.
Out he went with the news to his English
BLESSED JOAN OP ARC. 273
masters and before noon the word was all over
Eouen : " Joan has relapsed ! Joan has re-
lapsed ! "
Cauchon's victory was complete. He could
condemn her now as a relapsed heretic without
any further delay and the whole world would
believe that she got what she deserved. A
heretic was bad and deserved death — but so
much more so, one who acknowledged her sin
and swore repentance, and then immediately
went back to her crimes.
To be sure Joan answered when questioned
about it stubbornly. When she saw how she
was tricked she made up her mind that it was
no use to fight any longer for her life. So
instead of complaining that she had to put on
male dress because no other dress was left her,
she stoutly maintained that she never meant
or understood herself to promise that she
would not resume it. She said, too, as the
promises made to here were not kept, neither
was she bound. It was never her way to blame
" Do you still believe in your Voices ? "
" Yes, and that they come from God."
" Yet you denied them on the scaffold."
" If I made retractions and revocations on
the scaffold it was from fear of the fire, and
274 BLESSED JOAN OF ARC.
was a violation of the truth. ♦ * • I would
rather do my penance all at once. Let me die.
I cannot endure captivity any longer."
Cauchon went from Joan to the Earl of
Warwick. " Make yourselves comfortable. It
is all over with her."
The next day he summoned his serfs and
forty-two (out of the original sixty-two) came
at his call. It took very little time for them
to decide Joan was a relapsed heretic, and con-
demned her to be delivered over to the secular
arm of the law, that is, to the civil authorities,
Orders were immediately issued that Joan
be conveyed in the morning to the place known
as the Old Market, there to be delivered to the
civil judge and by him to the executioner.
It was Joan of Arc's last night upon earth.
For once her persecutors left her alone all
In spirit bowed she kneels alone,
And prays that Power at whose command
She rose to free her fettered land,
To he her shield in every ill.
And give her strength to do His will.
Then swift as light her thoughts go back.
Along the past's familiar track —
The fields where oft in childhood's hours
She watched her flock and gathered flowers ;
The lowly hamlet chapel, where
BLESSED JOAN OP ARC. 275
Each day was breathed her fervent prayer;
Her cottage homestead's humble walls.
To her more dear than palace halls —
All meet her view ; she pictures there
Her father with his silvery hair
Grown brighter, and her mother's brow
By sorrow marked, and silent now
Her gay young brothers, whose light mirth
Of old made glad the household hearth.
She knows 'tis sorrow for her fate
That makes their hearts so desolate;
The warrior's sternness disappears,
The woman's cheek is wet with tears.
At length by weariness oppressed.
The captive closed her eyes in rest,
And peaceful slumber deep and calm.
That brings a sweet though transient balm
For every ill, in pity stole
Its downy pinions o'er her soul.
She slept — the dreaded funeral pyre.
The yelling crowd the blistering fire
Forgot, for God perhaps had given
To bless her dreams a glimpse of heaven
While angels spread their wings to shade
The slumbers of the naartyr maid.
The cmel death scene— The illegal trial ends in illegal
Early in the morning of May 30, 1431,
Joan's jailer admitted to her cell the Domin-
ican Friar, Martin Ladvenu and Jean Mas-
sieu, a Dean of Rouen, Doctor of Theology,
and who as Usher and Citer of Cauchon's
Court, was prominent in the trial from the
beginning and always had access to Joan's
cell. Joan noted the portentous gravity of
" You bring me a message ? " she asked of
" I am come to prepare you for death."
"Death! How soon?"
" Even now. You are cited to appear in
the Old Market Place at 8 o'clock."
"What kind of death?"
And he hardly had uttered the words "by
fire," when she cried out agonizingly:
" I knew it ! I knew it ! Oh ! it is too cruel ;
too cruel! And must this body which has
never been defiled, be consumed to-day —
reduced to ashes! Sooner would I that my
BLESSED JOAN OF ARC. 277
head were cut off seven times than suffer the
flames. I had the promise of the Church's
prison when I submitted, and if I had been In
the Church's prison and not left here in the
hands of my enemies, this had not befallen
me. Oh, I appeal to the Great Judge against
this injustice done me!"
Just then Cauchon accompanied by Warwick
and Pierre Maurice showed himself at the
" Bishop, it is by you that I die."
"Patience, Joan; you die because you have
not kept your promise but have returned to
your sins," said the Bishop.
" Alas ! if you had kept your promise and
put me in the Church's prison, this would not
come to pass. And for this I summon you to
answer before God."
The Bishop winced and turned away with
Warwick; Pierre Maurice before leaving put
his hand as if in compassionate farewell bene-
diction on her head.
" Master Peter, where shall I be this night? "
" Have you not good hope in God ? "
" Yes, and by His grace I shall be in Para-
Friar Ladvenu heard her confession and
sent to Cauchon asking if she might not receive
the Holy Communion.
278 BLESSED JOAN OF ARC.
" Give her whatever she wants now," was
Cauchon's answer, and he ordered the Blessed
Sacrament conveyed to her as quietly and
secretly as possible, without lights or acolytes.
Ladvenu would not have it so. He got to-
gether the proi)er accessories and formed a
procession of priests and acolytes, and the
Body of her Saviour was brought to Joan's cell
through lines of kneeling, weeping, praying
people on the streets adjacent to the Castle,
saying aloud the prayers for the dying. The
tolling of the bell had been the signal that
brought them out for the public execution.
Quickly a long white robe was thrown over
Joan and the two friars, Isambard and Lad-
venu, climbed with her into the felon's cart
sent to convey her to the Old Market Place.
A regiment of eight hundred English soldiers
surrounded the cart. For the English feared
she would escape them somehow.
As the cart turned a corner of a street lead-
ing to the square a great commotion was
caused by a howling man darting through the
lines of the military and clinging to the cart,
crying : " Pardon, pardon, pardon." It was
Loyseleur who, for English promise of prefer-
ment, had spied on her, and lied to her, and
then gave false reports to blacken her char-
acter to suit his masters. Joan willingly for-
BLESSED JOAN OP ARC. 279
gave him, but not so the English soldiers for
seeking her pardon. Only for the Earl of War-
wick's quick interposition, he would have met
his deserts at their hands, right there and then.
The platforms of the day before at St. Ouen's
had been moved to the Market Square, and on
one of these Joan was placed, all alone, to
signify her abandonment by the Church. On
the other platform sat Cauchon, Warwick, the
English Cardinal Winchester, and a number
of Divines from the Paris University. The
Rouen clergy had largely during the trial be-
come sympathisers with Joan and showed it
as far as they dared, and so won the distrust
of Cauchon and his Englishmen. One of these
Paris Doctors of Divinity, Nicholas Midi, was,
as soon as the bustle of getting into place
quieted down, bidden to preach. He took his
text from St. Paul to the Corinthians : " If one
member suffer, all the members suffer with it,"
applying it to Joan, that the corrupt member
was to be cut off to save the whole body. It
was not long and Joan seemed to listen res-
pectfully, her pale countenance cast down over
her clasped hands.
Then the Bishop in a brief, bitter speech,
harangued her before reading the long sen-
tence of excommunication, that handed her
over to the civil authorities for judgment and
280 BLESSED JOAN OF ARC.
sentence and execution. But the civil author-
ities failed to condemn her, though the Bailly
of Rouen, the civil magistrate was there on a
raised platform. According to the Friar Lad-
venu (who testified under oath years later) :
"When she had been finally preached to in
the Old Market Place and abandoned to the
secular authority, although the secular judges
were seated on the platform, in no way was she
condemned by any of these judges, but without
being condemned she was forced by two ser-
geants to come down from the platform, and
was taken by the said sergeants to the place
where she was to be burned, and by them de-
livered into the hands of the executioner.''
The illegal trial was to end in illegal execu-
But no one was there to protest. The fear
of the English was more than the fear of God,
and the English were in a hurry.
It was drawing towards noon time. The
Dominicans, Isambard and Ladvenu, drew near
to Joan and spoke words of courage.
Joan kneeled down between them and in
loud clear tones prayed for France, for her
King. She begged the prayers and forgiveness
of all those around her, her enemies, as well as
those who wept with her. The cries of the
women beyond the cordon of soldiers came to
BLESSED JOAN OF ARC. 281
her ears and almost unnerved her. She begged
for a cross.
An English soldier took a fagot from the
pile prepared for her burning, broke it in two
and fastened it in the shape of a cross. She
thankfully took it, kissed it, and placed it in
her bosom. Then she remembered that the
Church of St. Savior was near and asked one
of the Dominicans to get her a Crucifix from
there. He did so, bringing the tall proces-
sional cross which she embraced with tears
running down her cheeks, and uttering most
beautiful words of love and gratitude to God
in a firm clear voice.
Bishop Cauchon came down from his plat-
form to speak to her. Once more she addressed
to him the words that made him shiver : " It
is by you that I die."
"Do you still believe in your Saints?" he
asked, but she answered him no more, praying
instead in a loud voice to St. Michael and St.
Catherine and St. Margaret to come to her
All this time the executioners were placing
her in position and fastening her body with
chains to the stake, in several places, from her
shoulders to her knees.
Friar Isambard was speaking words of com-
fort and courage and holding the Crucifix to
282 BLESSED JOAN OF ARC.
her lips. The executioner descended and Joan
was alone, and looking once around her at the
sky and the distant hills and the multitudes
near by, she exclaimed :
" Oh, Rouen, Eouen, must I die here and
must you be my tomb ? "
Again Isambard was at her side to encourage
her, but her enemies were in a hurry.
" What, priest ! wilt thou have us dine
here? " Joan herself begged him to step down,
but to keep the cross before her eyes till the
last. On her head was placed a paper cap
bearing the inscription:
" Heretic, Relapsed, Apostate, Idolater," and
out of reach of the fire was a large placard
bearing her record according to these judges,
that she blasphemed God, reviled the Saints,
despised the Church, held dealings with Satan
and other vile charges.
High up and close to her eyes, Isambard held
the Crucifix, while the executioner placed the
coals among the dry faggots below, and the
first whiflf of smoke drew an agonizing cry from
her lips. Only one. Doubtless her Saints came
to her aid. Begging Isambard to step out of
danger but keep the Cross up high, she called
from out the flame the sweet name of Jesus
and repeated it many times. Most of the
people, and a great many of the judges went
BLESSED JOAN OP ARC. 283
away at the first sign of the smoke rising, not
wanting to see what would harrow their souls.
Swiftly the flames shot up and enveloped
her. Once the executioner forcibly parted
them to let those interested see she was really
there and had not vanished nor been rescued.
With one last loud cry of " Jesus " her suffer-
ings were at last ended, and a black page
fastened forever in England's history. Joan of
Arc was no more on earth. She was with her
Saints in Paradise.
The executioner, when the fire died down,
gathered her ashes and threw them into the
Seine to be sure she was really gone. He
found her heart unconsumed by the fire and
threw it after her ashes into the swift river.
A certain Englishman who hated her greatly
because of her victories over the English, had
sworn to bring a faggot for her stake. When
he did so and heard her calling on the name
of Jesus, he fainted and had to be dragged
away from the fire. He confessed afterward
that he felt he had raised his hand against a
holy one. He saw, he said, as he looked up at
her and heard her last cry, her spirit leaving
her body, in the shape of a white dove.
That afternoon the executioner came to the
284 BLESSED JOAN OP ARC.
Convent of the Dominicans to confess; saying
he feared he was damned because he had
burned a saint.
" He never before felt so great dread of his
oflSce as in this burning of the Maid, and for
many reasons, but mostly for the cruel manner
of fastening her to the stake — for the English
had caused a high scaffold to be made of
plaster, so all might see her, and the execu-
tioner could not well reach her to hasten mat-
ters, at which he was much vexed, as it was
wanton and unnecessary cruelty."
Her death did more to bring back the alle-
giance of the people of Rouen to their lawful
King than did even the victories of the French
armies. The multitude went home that day
weeping and crying that a Saint had been
burned in their midst, and a great wrong put
upon their city by it.
Even in death she was not out of the reach
of her enemies. Knowing that it would be
asked of him why if Joan had returned to her
sins and died a heretic, she was allowed the
Sacraments, Cauchon drew up a document ex-
plaining that she had at the last few moments
in her cell, made all proper submission and
That document was brought out later, but it
lacked the signatures of the only honest men
BLESSED JOAN OF ARC. 285
on the trial and was discounted. This docu-
ment is dated June 7, a week after the execu-
tion of Joan. With it are letters of guarantee
of safety from the King of England to those
responsible for the trial and execution, and a
letter from the University of Paris to the Pope
explaining in their own pro-English way the
The official rehabilitation of Joan's character after her
While the trial of Joan of Arc was going
on at Eouen, her brother Jacques died in Dom-
remy. When the news of the burning reached
Domremy her father's heart broke and he died.
The whole people of France were broken-
hearted for the loss of their champion, and for
a time all energies seemed paralyzed. Fear
and shame fell upon the English and the
French both. For though Joan was burned as
a heretic and idolatress and sorceress — no one
believed she was any of these things; and
those who were responsible for her death,
Frenchmen or Englishmen, took refuge under
the ten-year-old King of England's letters of
protection to all who had a hand in her death.
Cauchon did not long need the protection of
the English King. He died suddenly in the
barber's chair not long after. His chief aid, in
the whole tragedy, Nicholas Midi, had already
died of leprosy.
After a spell of gloomy inactivity Joan's
BLESSED JOAN OF ARC. 289
prayers for her beloved France were felt. The
King's base chief-minister, La Tremoille, was
deposed, and the brave Eichemont took his
place. The Count de Dunois (Bastard of Or-
leans), D'Aulon, D'Alencon, La Hire, gathered
their forces before Paris and took it from the
English; and in 1436 King Charles entered
amid the great rejoicing of the people and took
solemn possession of his capital as Joan had
Step by step he regained all his territory,
until in 1449, all of Normandy had returned
to his allegiance and the City of Rouen flew
his flag over the towers of Warwick's old
castle, where Joan's imprisonment was suf-
fered, and in the old Market Square where the
horror of her death still lingered.
Here it was brought home to Charles vividly
that the stigma thrown on the Maid of Orleans
was also a stigma on his crown, in a manner.
He therefore issued a Declaration empower-
ing the Rector of the University of Paris (now
purged of most of its English taint), to en-
quire into the trial of Joan by " our ancient
English enemies, who against reason had
cruelly put her to death."
Three weeks later a Commission sat in
Rouen, on March 4 and 5, 1450. Seven wit-
nesses were heard. Four Dominicans of
290 BLESSED JOAN OF ARC.
Rouen, one of them her confessor; the usher
of the court (the Bedford-Cauchon Court that
condemned her) Massieu; the notary, Man-
chon; and Canon Beaupere, one of the chief
Toutmouille, one of the Dominicans, testi-
" Before her death the English proposed to
lay siege to Louviers, but deemed it better to
wait the result of the trial. Immediately after
she was burnt they besieged Louviers, for they
thought that while she was alive they could
not have success in deeds of war."
That was to show the animus of the Trial
and Execution. The other Dominicans testi-
fied to her true Catholicity and true woman-
Manchon's testimony was longest and most
valuable and bore most heavily on the French
clerical tools of England, though at the time
of the Trial he was obliged to act for both
French and English, without any protest or
show of sympathy with Joan. He told of how
the chief oflScer of the Inquisition who had
come on from Paris for the Trial, saw that " it
proceeded rather from hatred and anger on
account of the quarrel with the King of
France," and so would not have anything to
BLESSED JOAN OP ARC. 291
do with it and because of his refusal he had to
leave Bouen and even France, taking refuge
in Rome. The Vice Inquisitor took his place
on the Trial.
Massieu deposed among other things that
for one word he let drop about the irregularity
of the Trial, the Bishop of Beauvais told him
" Be very careful or he should be made to drink
more than was good for him," meaning he
would be thrown into the Seine.
Beaupere, a Canon of Rouen, excused his
ugly attitude towards Joan during the Trial
by the great fear of the English, that shut
many mouths who would have said a good
word for Joan at the Trial.
The Commission sent all the evidence they
collected with their unanimous verdict that the
Process of Condemnation of the Maid of Or-
leans should be declared null and void.
Nothing further was heard from the King or
Council, however, for two years. The Univer-
sity of Paris had enough pro-English influence
within its walls to delay definite proceedings
in the matter. Two years later, the Cardinal
Bishop of Digne, who was Legate in France
for Pope Nicholas V, took up the matter in
answer to an appeal from Joan's mother, who
claimed on civil grounds the restoration of her
daughter's character and the family honor,
292 BLESSED JOAN OF ARC.
which had been hurt by the imputation of
heresy cast upon one of its members.
In consequence a second Commission of In-
quiry was opened at Rouen, in April, 1452, at
which twenty-one witnesses were examined.
English influence again hindered any action
on the mass of evidence which brought out the
cruelty and illegality of the Trial in strong
colors ; and showed Joan's death to be a public
political crime, not chargeable to the Church
nor the proper ecclesiastical authorities, in any
There was nothing definite done for three
more years. Then Pope Nicholas V died and
the d'Arc family formally petitioned his suc-
cessor, Calixtus III, to open the case again,
which he did on November 7, 1455, in the
Church of Notre Dame in Paris.
The Archbishop of Rheims, the Bishop of
Paris, the Bishop of Coutances and the chief
officer of the Inquisition formed the Court. At
the feet of this Court the mother of Joan threw
herself, with the Papal Rescript in her hand,
and tears running down her cheeks, as she im-
plored justice for her murdered daughter's
name. The chronicles of the time tell us the
Court was moved to tears, and the whole peo-
ple joined aloud in one great petition for
" justice to Joan of Arc."
BLESSED JOAN OF ARC. 293
The judges took all the testimony and on
December 12, the Trial was opened.
The advocate for the mother and brothers
of Joan of Arc, brought his formal accusation
against the Judge and Promoter of the Trial
of the Maid of Orleans at Rouen. The asses-
sors were not included in the accusation be-
cause they were, he said, led by false deduc-
tions into wrong conclusions, and could not be
Thus the Bishop of Beauvais or his heirs,
were the chief defendants.
As only the plaintiff's were represented, the
Court adjourned to give the defendants an op-
portunity to put in their appeal, and citations
to do so were nailed on the church doors and
other public places.
On December 20th — the last day appointed
for the appearance of any representative of
the accused — only the advocate of the family
of Cauchon presented himself.
He made declaration that the heirs of the
late Bishop Cauchon had no desire to maintain
the validity of a Trial with which they had no
concern, that Joan had been the victim of the
hatred of the English, and that therefore the
responsibility fell rather upon the English
who had urged on Cauchon and begged finally
that the Rehabilitation of Joan might not be
294 BLESSED JOAN OP ARC.
to their prejudice as they had accepted the
amnesty of the King of France when he retook
The Court decided readily that Cauchon's
heirs were not to be held responsible in any
way. No other defendants appearing, the Pro-
moter formulated his accusation in proper
form, pronouncing the Court that tried Joan
incompetent, the methods of its procedure un-
fair, its sentence illegal and its execution ir-
regular. Then to settle the Maid's character
and the character of her mission to reconquer
the country from its old-time enemies, a
special inquiry was ordered to be made at
Domremy, Vaucouleurs and elsewhere, into the
life and conduct of the Maid.
Everybody was questioned who knew the
Maid at any time.
The Registrars of the illegal trial laid their
properly attested books before the Court with
attestation of their authenticity, and their dis-
claimers of any sympathy with the judges
whose records they were obliged to make at the
On the 7th of June, 1456, at 8 o'clock in the
morning, the Pontifical Delegates met in the
Archiepiscopal Palace at Rouen and the
formal sentence of the restoration of Joan's
character was solemnly read by the Archbishop
BLESSED JOAN OF ARC. 295
The document is a noble one, beginning as
was usual in those days : " In the name of the
Holy and Undivided Trinity, Father, Son and
Holy Ghost. Amen."
The providence of the Eternal majesty, the
Saviour, Christ, Lord God and man, hath in-
stituted for the rule of His Church Militant,
the Blessed Peter and his Apostolic successors.
He hath made them His principal representa-
tives, and charged them, by the light of Truth,
which He hath manifested to them, to teach
men justice, protecting the good, relieving the
oppressed in the whole universe, and, by a
reasonable judgment, bringing back into the
right road those who have turned therefrom.
Invested with this Apostolic Authority, for
the matter in question, we, Jean of Eheims,
William of Paris, and Richard of Coutances,
by the grace of God Archbishops and Bishop,
and Jean Brehal, of the Order of St. Dominic,
Professor of Sacred Theology, one of the two
Inquisitors of the Heretical Evil for the
Realm of France, all four judges specially
delegated by our most holy Lord the Pope ac-
Having seen the Solemn Process brought be-
fore us, by virtue of the Apostolic mandate
addressed to us, and by us respectfully ac-
296 BLESSED JOAN OF ARC.
In the case concerning the honest woman,
Widow Isabelle d'Arc, mother, Pierre and
Jean d'Arc, brothers german, natural and
legal, of the deceased Jeanne d'Arc, of good
memory, commonly called the Maid:
The said case brought in their name;
Against the Sub-Inquisitor of the Heretical
Evil for the Diocese of Beauvais, the Promoter
of the officiality of the said Diocese of Beau-
vais, and also the Reverend Father in Christ
and Lord William de Hellende, Bishop of
Beauvais, and against all others and each in
particular who might be thought to be therein
interested, all together respectively Defend-
ants, as well conjointly as separately :
Having seen, in the first place, the peremp-
tory citation and the execution of this cita-
tion made against the said Defendants, at the
request not only of the said Plaintiffs but of
the Promoter of our offlce, appointed by us,
sworn and created; to the end that the said
Defendants might see the carrying out of the
said Rescript, hear the conclusions against
them, and answer themselves; and to proceed,
in one word, according to right ;
Having seen the request of the said Plain-
tiffs, their deeds, reasons, and conclusions set
down in writing under the form of Articles,
putting forward a declaration of nullity, of
BLESSED JOAN OF ARC. 297
iniquity, and of cozenage against a certain
Process in a pretended Trial for the Faith, for-
merly done and executed in this city against
the above named woman, now deceased, by the
late Lord Pierre Cauchon, then Bishop of
Beauvais, Jean Lemaitre, then Vice Inquisitor
of the said Dioces6 of Beauvais, and Jean d'Es-
tivet, Promoter, or having at least acted in
The said request putting forward and infer-
ring further the breaking down and annulling
of the Process in question and of all which fol-
lowed it, to the justification of the said
Deceased, and to all other ends therein enu-
Having seen, read, re-read and examined the
original books, instruments, means, acts, notes
and protocols of the said Process, shown and
sent to us, in virtue of the compulsory letters,
by the Registrars and others whose signa-
tures and writings have been, as a preliminary,
acknowledged in our presence:
Having studied at length all these docu-
ments, not only with the said Registrars and
other officials appointed in the said Process,
but also with those of the Councillors who were
called to the same Process, those, at least,
,whom we have been able to bring before us :
Having ourselves collated and compared the
298 BLESSED JOAN OF ARC.
final text with the Minute itself of the said
Having considered also the Preparatory En-
quiries — first, those which were conducted by
the Most Reverend Father in Christ, the Lord
Guillaume, Cardinal Priest, under the title of
Saint-Martin-Les-Monets, then Legate of the
Holy Apostolic See in the Kingdom of France,
assisted by the Inquisitor, after the examina-
tion which had been made by the said Cardinal
Legate of the books and instruments then
Having afterwards considered the Prepara-
tory Enquiry conducted at the beginning of the
actual Process by us or our Commissaries:
Having considered also divers treatises
which had come from the Prelates, Doctors,
and men of learning, the most celebrated and
the most authorized, who, after having studied
at length the books and instruments of the
said Process, have separated from these books
and instruments the doubtful points which
they would have to elucidate in their said
treatises composed afterwards and brought to
light, whether by the order of the Most Rev-
erend Father aforesaid or by us :
Having considered the Articles and Interro-
gations to be submitted to the witnesses, pre-
sented to us, in the name of the Plaintiffs and
BLESSED JOAN OF ARC. 299
of our Promoter, and after many citations ad-
mitted in proof by us :
Having considered the depositions and at-
testations of tlie witnesses heard on the sub-
ject of the said Articles and Interrogations
on the life of the said Deceased in the place of
her birth — on her departure; on her examina-
tion before several Prelates, Doctors, and
others having knowledge thereof, in presence
notably of the Most Reverend Father Reginald,
then Archbishop of Rheims and Metropolitan
of the said Bishopric of Beauvais ; an examina-
tion made at Poitiers, and elsewhere, on
several occasions; on the marvelous deliver-
ance of the City of Orleans ; on the journey to
the City of Rheims and the Coronation of the
King; and the divers circumstances of the
Trial, the qualifications, the judges, the man-
ner of proceeding:
In the first place we say and, because justice
requires it, we declare that the Articles begin-
ning with the words " a woman," which are
found inserted in the pretended Process and
Instrument of the pretended sentences, lodged
against the said Deceased, ought to have been,
have been and are, extracted from the Process
and the said pretended Confessions of the said
Deceased, with corruption, cozenage, calumny,
fraud and malice:
300 BLESSED JOAN OF ARC.
We declare, that on certain points the truth
of her Confessions has been passed over in
silence; that on other points her confessions
have been falsely translated — a double un-
faithfulness, by which, had it been prevented,
the mind of the Doctors consulted and the
judges might have been led to a different
We declare, that in these Articles there have
been added without right many aggravating
circumstances, which are not in the aforesaid
Confessions, and many circumstances both
relevant and justifying have been passed over
We declare, that even the form of certain
words has been altered, in such manner as to
change the substance:
For the which, the same Articles, as falsely,
calumniously and deceitfully extracted, and
as contrary even to the confessions of the
Accused, we break, annihilate and annul ; and
after they shall have been detached from the
Process we ordain, by this present judgment,
that they be torn up :
In the second place, after having examined
with great care the other parts of the same
said Process — particularly the two sentences
which the Process contained, designated by
the Judges as " Lapse " and " Relapse " —
BLESSED JOAN OP ARC. 301
and after having also for a long time weighed
the qualifications of the Judges and of all
those under whom and in wliose keeping the
said Jeanne was detained :
We say, pronounce, decree and declare, the
said Processes and Sentences full of cozenage,
iniquity, inconsequences, and manifest errors,
in fact as well as in law :
We say that they have been, are, and shall
be— as well as the aforesaid Abjuration, their
execution and all that followed — null, non-
existent, without value or effect.
Nevertheless in so far as is necessary, and
as reason doth command us, we break them,
annihilate them, annul them, and declare them
void of effect :
And we declare that the said Jeanne and
her relatives. Plaintiffs in the Actual Process,
have not on account of the said trial, con-
tracted nor incurred any mark or stigma of
We declare them quit and purged of all the
consequences of these same Processes:
We declare them, in so far as is necessary,
entirely purged thereof by this present :
We ordain that the execution and solemn
publication of our present Sentence stiall take
place immediately in this City in two different
places, to wit :
302 BLESSED JOAN OF ARC.
To-day in the Square of St. Ouen, after a
General Procession and a public sermon.
To-morrow, at the old Market Place, in the
same place where the said Jeanne was suffo-
cated by a cruel and horrible fire, also with a
General Preaching and with the placing of a
handsome Cross for the perpetual memory of
the Deceased and for her salvation and that
of other deceased persons:
We declare that we reserve to ourselves
[the power] later on to execute, publish, and
for the honor of her memory to signify with
acclaim, our said sentence in the cities and
other well-known places of the Kingdom when-
ever we shall find it well so to do, under the
reserves, finally, of all the other formalities
which may yet remain to be done.
[All of which was duly attested as follows :]
This present Sentence hath been brought
out, read, and promulgated by the Lords
Judges, in presence of the Reverend Father in
Christ the Lord Bishop of Demetriuide, of
Hector de Coquerel, Nicholas du Bois, Alain
Olivier, Jean du Bee, Jean de Gouys, Guil-
laime Roussel, Laurent Surreau, Canons; of
Martin Ladvenu, Jean Roussel, and Thomas
BLESSED JOAN OF ARC. 303
Maitre Simon Chapitault, Promoter; Jean
d'Arc and Prevosteau for the other Plaintiffs.
Done at Rouen in the Archiepiscopal Palace,
in the year of our Lord 1456, the 7th day of the
month of June.
This was done, the whole population of
Rouen and adjacent towns doing all in their
power to add to the solemnity of the two days'
reversal of the dreadful scenes of the two
days, twenty-five years before. The cross
they erected in the place of her martyrdom
became a place of pilgrimage, and around its
foot the youth of France were taught the
glories of old France, the shameful century of
her fall into English hands, and her splendid
and speedy rescue from English domination
by the Maid sent by Heaven and aided by St.
Michael the Archangel and St. Catherine and
This Cross after a hundred years was re-
placed by a fountain around a beautiful statue
of Joan of Arc surmounted by a cross. This
was again replaced in 1756, by the magnificent
fountain that at present marks the spot
whence Joan's pure soul ascended to Heaven.
We know now what Joan in her last sad
days did not know, that her career was under-
stood and appreciated by the Church of
France, and while a schismatic bishop and a
304 BLESSED JOAN OP ARC.
few pnbsidized clerical tools were sending her
to a disgraced and disgraceful death, she was
being prayed for aflfectionately by bishops and
priests all over France.
That Joan was recognized by the clergy and
people of France as a holy woman as well as
a patriot, there is ample evidence. Notably
are a Collect, a Secret prayer and a Post
Communion used in the Masses of the day.
The Collect is as follows:
" O Almighty and Eternal God, who through
Thy holy and ineffable clemency, and by the
wonderful strength of Thy arm, hast raised
up a young virgin for the glory and welfare
of France, for the expulsion, confusion and
ruin of our enemies; and who hast permitted,
in the fulfillment of the mission which Thou
hast confided to her, that she should fall into
the hands of those enemies; grant to our
prayers that through the intercession of the
ever blessed Virgin Mary, and of all of the
Saints, we may behold her escape in safety
from their power, that she may continue to
execute Thy formal commands."
The secret prayer in the Mass reads :
" O Father of virtues and Almighty God,
may Thy holy benediction descend on this
oblation; may it excite Thy miraculous
power; and through the intercession of the
BLESSED JOAN OF ARC. 305
Blessed Virgin Mary and all the Saints, may it
preserve and deliver the Maid now confined in
the prison of our enemies and may it enable
her to perform effectively the work which
Thou hast ordained."
The Post Communion reads :
" O Almighty God, hearken to the prayers of
Thy people, and through the sacraments which
we have received and through the intercession
of the Blessed Virgin Mary and all the Saints,
break the chains of the Maid who, while per-
forming the deeds enjoined by Thee has been
shut up in the prison of our enemies. Through
Thy divine compassion and mercy grant that
she may accomplish in safety the mission
which Thou hast entrusted to her."
No better status could be given any human
being than such a personal commemoration in
the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, even though
circumscribed as to place and time.
It is a curious coincidence that the great
Shakespeare, who did not at all understand or
properly characterize Joan of Arc, should put
the prophetic words into the mouth of Charles
VII.: "Joan, the Maid, shall be France's
The Beatification of Joan of Arc by Pius X. " Joan of
Arc shall be France's Saint.
In 1841 the Historical Society of France
resolved upon the publication of the Trials
of the condemnation and rehabilitation of
Joan of Arc, which M. Jules Quicherat had
transcribed from the original manuscripts
preserved in the National Library in Paris.
The publication was completed in 1849, in five
volumes. Thenceforward writers had authen-
tic documents upon which to rely.
In 1869, Mgr. Dupanloup, Bishop of Or-
leans, with two Cardinals and ten Bishops
signed a suplica to Pius IX, praying for the
introduction of the Cause of Beatification.
The war of 1870 interrupted the proceedings.
In 1874 the inquiry was resumed; and, after
thirty-six sittings, the result of the labors of
the Diocesan Tribunal was presented to the
Sacred Congregation of Rites in February,
1876, by Mgr. Dupanloup. Mgr. Coullie, the
successor of Mgr. Dupanloup in the see of
Orleans, instituted a second inquiry in 1885,
and a third one in 1887. On January 27,
BLESSED JOAN OF ARC. 307
1894, Leo XIII signed the "Introduction of
the Cause", by which the cause of Joan of
Arc was summoned before the Tribunal of the
Pope, and she was thus accorded the title of
The Holy See then commissioned the Bishop
of Orleans to hold three inquiries: (1) " de
non-culta"; (2) on the heroic virtues alleged
to have been practised by Joan of Arc; and
(3) on miracles alleged to have been worked
through her intercession.
The inquiry on the heroic virtues began in
1896; 122 sittings were held, and twenty wit-
nesses were examined. The inquiry was
closed on November 22, 1897; and, in a folio
volume of about 2,000 pages, the proceedings
were presented to the Sacred Congregation of
Eites by the Bishop of Orleans. Thencefor-
ward the Cause was immediately before the
An important question was raised at the
very beginning of the Cause in 1894, namely,
what documents should be admitted as being
evidence in the Cause; and it was determined
that the Trials of Condemnation and of Re-
habilitation being records of sworn testimony
on oath were admissible.
The next point was whether the volumes of
Quicherat were a faithful transcription of the
308 BLESSED JOAN OF ARC.
original manuscripts. These documents had
already been carefully collated by enthusiastic
and competent students; and, upon sworn
declaration that Quicherat's transcription cor-
responded with the original manuscripts, his
published volumes of the two trials were ad-
mitted as evidence in the Cause.
This declaration, however, did not go so far
as to determine the value of every statement
contained in those Trials; it only declared
that the printed volumes corresponded with
the manuscripts. Hence the value as evidence
of the various portions of the Trials was left as
debatable in each case.
This is a matter of great importance, and it
must be carefully borne in mind in relation to
the three chief objections which have been
made against the sanctity of Joan of Arc.
The Maid is recorded in the trial of con-
demnation to have objected to the minutes
of the Trial as they were written down at the
time by the clerks of the Court.
" You write down," she said, " what is
against me, but you do not write down what
is in my favor."
If the Evidence given in the Trial of Reha-
bilitation may be thought by some persons to
be at times over favorable, there is no doubt
that the Trial of Condemnation is to be read
BLESSED JOAN OP ARC. 309
with caution as being recorded with a bias
against the prisoner.
Secondly, the inquiry held on June 7, eight
days after the death of the Maid, is of alto-
gether questionable veracity, and the clerks
of the Court refused to append their signatures
to it — an act which they would not have dared
to have dgne on previous occasions.
It is after giving their relative value to the
various statements as to Joan of Arc's attemp-
ted escape from prison, her alleged recan-
tation and her pretended denial of her Voices
that we are able to come to the unhesitating
conclusion that the accusation that her en-
deavor to escape was an attempt to commit
suicide is false, that she did not make a re-
cantation on the scaffold at St. Ouen, and that
she never did otherwise than assert that her
Voices were from God.
Seven alleged miracles were presented to
the Holy See. Four were from the diocese of
Orleans, one from that of Nancy, one from the
diocese of Evruex, and one from the diocese
of Arras. Four were set aside for various
reasons. Three were admitted.
THE FIRST MIRACLE.
Sister Teresa of Saint Augustine, a Bene-
dictine Nun of Orleans, was attacked in De-
310 BLESSED JOAiSr OP ARC.
cember, 1897, by acute pains in the stomach-
These increased continually, accompanied by
frequent sickness, till in May, 1900, she had
vomitings of blood so exhausting that she
appeared to be almost dead.
From that time forward she never left her
bed. The vomitings became of daily and
almost of constant recurrence. She was in
the dilemma of choking if she took any food,
or of dying of starvation if she did not.
The doctor expected her speedy death. Under
these conditions a novena to Joan of Arc was
begun on July 30, 1900. The vomitings of
blood continued almost incessantly. On
August 6 they were more frequent than ever.
In the night of the 6th to the 7th, there was
a crisis of weakness and of syncope. On the
7th the vomitings were renewed.
On the evening of August 7, at the height
of the crisis. Sister Teresa asks for her habit,
saying that she will get up the next day, as she
will be cured. The Sisters in attendance say
to one another, " Get her habit, it will do for
Meanwhile Sister Teresa fell asleep till two
o'clock in the morning. At the sound of the
bell for Matins she wanted to rise. She was
told to remain quiet till half-past five, and
BLESSED JOAN OF ARC. 311
At half-past five, on the morning of August
8, she dressed herself, went down to the chapel,
and prayed with her arms extended in the
form of a cross, received Holy Communion,
dined with the community on the ordinary
fare, and suffered no inconvenience whatever.
Since that time the perfect and instantane-
ous cure has been fully substantiated by sub-
THE SECOND MIRACLE.
Sister Julie Gauthier, of Favrolles in the
diocese of Evruex, had suffered for fifteen
years from a cancerous ulcer in the left breast.
One day as she was speaking to her class of
children about Joan of Arc, the idea occurred
to her of making a novena to the Maid, for
she had laid aside all hope of cure by natural
But her sufferings were so great that she
feared she would be unable to make a novena
of nine days' prayer in succession.
She bethought herself then of a plan by
which the novena might be promptly con-
cluded. She would take eight of the children
of her class, she herself would make the ninth,
and they would go together and say the
prayers for her recovery at one single visit to
312 BLESSED JOAN OF ARC.
To gather children around her, and to go
with them to pray or to receive the Holy
Sacraments, was one of the delights of Joan of
Arc. She would do likewise.
They went; and then and there Sister Julie,
who with diflflculty had been able to go so far
as the church, returned from it in full vigor.
The wound was closed, and Sister Julie was
perfectly and permanently cured.
THE THIRD MIRACLE,
Marie Sagnier, of Fruges in the diocese of
Arras, a nun of the congregation of the Holy
Family, had suffered for three months from
ulcers and abscesses in both legs. The disease
was diagnosed as being one of tuberculous
affection of the flesh and bones.
She made a novena to Joan of Arc. On the
morning of the fifth day the bandages had
become loose, the inflammation had dis-
appeared, the ulcers and the wounds had
healed, the bones had become firm, and Marie
Sagnier had regained her former vigor, which
has been maintained ever since.
On May 8, 1869, was signed the first petition
to the Holy See for the " Introduction of the
Cause of Beatification."
On January 27, 1894, Leo XIII. signed the
BLESSED JOAN OP ARC. 313
decree authorizing the " Introduction of the
On January 27, 1894, Leo XIII signed the
decree declaring the heroicity of the virtues prac-
tised by Joan of Arc.
On December 13, 1908, the decree concerning
the miracles was promulgated in the presence
of the Holy Father; and on January 24, 1909,
Pius X declared that the solemn beatification
of Joan of Arc might be proceeded with.
On April 18, 1909, in the presence of fifty
thousand people, thirty thousand of whom
were French men and women, who had jour-
neyed to Rome on purpose, Pius X proclaimed,
with all the splendid solemnity with which the
Church vests herself on suca occasion, that
Joan of Arc be hereafter called BLESSED,
and exhorted the faithful to seek her inter-
cession, who, as she lives in the hearts of the
French people, continues also to repeat in
heaven the prayer " Great God of nations,
Save France ! "
As this volume goes to press word comes
from Rome that the cause of the canonization
of Blessed Joan of Arc is to be reopened by
the Sacred Congregation of Rites, who have
under consideration two recent miracles at-
tributed to the Blessed Joan's intercession.
It seems certain that she will be proclaimed
shortly, Saint Joan of Arc. Meanwhile the
Congregation has approved an OflQce and Mass
for her Feast, on the Sunday after Ascension,
as a " double major " for all France, and for
Orleans, Rheims, and Rouen as a " double of
the second class," because of her special con-
nection with these cities. Also it is hoped that
she will be as " Virgin and Martyr " her final
title to sanctity will be established. " St Joan
of Arc Virgin and Martyr." God speed the
day. It will be a great one for France.